Everton midfielder Izzy Christiansen has been called up by Phil Neville to the 30-player roster scheduled to play a training match on Friday September 17.
While the dynamic midfielder initially was left off the Lionesses’ squad, a positive COVID test from Katie Zelem and a precautionary withdrawal from Lucy Bronze due to a slight injury saw the 28-year-old added to Neville’s roster.
Christensen, who is in her first season at Walton Hall Park, has played for European giants such as Manchester City and Olympique Lyonnais — the latter from which she was signed in December 2019.
A key member of the national team — 31 caps at the senior level — Christiansen was last capped for her home country in March 2019, when England won the SheBelieves Cup.
Since then, however, it has been an uphill battle for Christiansen. She had ankle surgery prior to the 2019 World Cup, forcing her to miss the competition, and only recently began recapturing the form that made her one of the most potent midfielders in Europe.
To date, Christiansen has played in two games for the Toffees — a 4–0 win at Bristol City and a 1–0 win against Tottenham Hotspur.
Against the Robins, the 28-year-old was instrumental in the build-up play that led to the team’s second goal and was a disruptive force on the pitch. More importantly, she played the entirety of the match against Bristol, a positive sign for a player working her way back from a lengthy injury spell.
If the game against Bristol was inspiring, her performance against Spurs was magnificent. Again playing the full ninety, Christiansen worked tirelessly on all three levels of the field, scoring the game’s lone goal. When Hayley Raso picked up the ball in the middle of the pitch and sent a pass out to Nicoline Sørensen, Christiansen expertly drifted into open space on the back shoulder of Spurs’ center-back Kerys Harrop. She then got on the end of a beautifully weighted pass from Sørensen and sent the ball past a diving Becky Spencer.
Upon opening her scoring account for Everton, Christiansen let out an exclamation of joy, with teammates shortly thereafter surrounding her with congratulations. Seeing as she’s missed significant time due to injuries, it’s great to see the veteran being recognized and rewarded for her superb play.
For a player who was named the 2016 PFA Women’s Players’ Player of the Year and whom Neville has called “vital” to his squad, it was heartbreaking to see her unable to contribute to the England squad in the past months. Now that she has regained her fitness and is fully healthy, Christiansen will look to own England’s midfield, much like she does with Everton.