By Lloyd Webb
Versatility is an invaluable trait for any footballer, and Leah Williamson is well aware of that.
Despite graduating from the Centre of Excellence as a central midfielder, the 19-year-old has adapted to defensive roles at centre back and full back this season.
Williamson has featured three times in defence this term, and says playing is the most important thing for her development - no matter where it is on the pitch.
"I just want to cement my place in the team, which obviously hasn’t happened yet. I’m working hard in training and I take every opportunity I get to put a shirt on"
“I think the experience I have picked up in different positions just means I’m on the pitch when maybe I wouldn’t have been if I couldn’t play there,” she told Arsenal.com. “Those experiences are great for me.
“Game time is the most important thing for a young player. Every coach will say that you need to be playing at this age. I’m still a baby, so I just pick up everything I can as I go along. I’m definitely most comfortable in the middle of the park, whether that is at centre back or in centre midfield, but I’m not so sure about up front.
"In the middle, I like to know what is around me. Growing up playing as a midfielder I believe I have aspects to my game that can help me in the middle. I feel a little restricted on the flank, but as long as I’m on the pitch in an Arsenal shirt I will fight for whatever and deal with whatever I can.
“I said last year that I wanted to have more of an impact on every game I played in and I guess that hasn’t really changed. I just want to cement my place in the team, which obviously hasn’t happened yet.
"I’m working hard in training and I take every opportunity I get to put a shirt on. There are big games coming up like the Women’s FA Cup final which everyone will want to be involved in.”
Arsenal travel to Reading having already beaten them 3-1 on the opening day of the Women’s Super League campaign.
“Playing against them earlier in the season, I was pleasantly surprised,” said Williamson. “I like a team that comes away and tries to press.
“They have just been promoted, so I was impressed with their pressing and the type of game they play. I’m excited to play against a team like that. It brings the best out of me when a team brings it to the table."
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