Williamson: "You realise how much you need it"

Leah Williamson made a triumphant return from injury in her 200th appearance for the club, as we saw off Everton 1-0 at Meadow Park.

After two months on the sidelines, our home-grown defender came off the subs bench in the 68th minute to a raucous reception, with Katie McCabe handing over the captain's armband to cap off her return. 

Speaking after the game, Leah said: "Everybody knows how much I love Arsenal so if I can repay that and people are happy that I'm walking onto a pitch, I'm alright with that!"

Leah hasn't been alone on the sidelines, as fellow centre-backs Rafaelle Souza and Teyah Goldie have been rehabbing their respective injuries alongside her at London Colney. Rafaelle was also involved in the matchday squad to face Everton.

"Sometimes rehab can be different with different people but we've had a great time actually. We've used it to our own advantage. You don't get time to spend like we have and it's been nice. Teyah was buzzing for us both today, so we just need her on the pitch now!"

A run of significant injuries to our squad has required our Gunners to step up, adapt positions and work on new partnerships across the pitch. Leah has proudly watched on throughout as everyone gives their all.

"100%. As I've come back into training, the level is so high. Everybody's who's playing and training is in a great place, giving what they need to the team. So I think we're in a good place on the whole."

Leah Williamson on her 200th Arsenal appearance

As a silver lining, Leah reflected that the time away might have helped to realign her perspective: "Sometimes it's nice. You realise how much you miss it. You realise how much you need it."

"I've been excited this past week. I've been excited because when you get a date in your head, you want to make it. I'm glad that box is ticked now and obviously 200 appearances - I'm very proud of that."

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