Football News

Why England must start Ellen White at the Euros, according to ex-Lionesses captain Faye White

By Harry Edwards

Published: 16:30, 4 July 2022

Former England captain Faye White believes Ellen White should start for the Lionesses at Euro 2022 for her track record at major tournaments.

When Sarina Wiegman announced her provisional squad for the home tournament in May, some fans on social media questioned the involvement of Manchester City striker Ellen White.

Despite being England’s all-time top goalscorer, Ellen White didn’t have the best campaign for Man City in the Women’s Super League, scoring just four goals in 22 appearances. Her fellow contenders for England’s striker role Alessia Russo and Beth England scored nine and eight goals respectively.

Women’s Euro 2022: Outright odds from William Hill

  • Spain Women: 7/2
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  • France Women: 5/1
  • Sweden Women: 13/2

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Ellen White’s four goals came in 1,220 minutes, however, as she was relegated to a support role behind Jamaican striker Bunny Shaw and only played the full match in eight of her 13 starts. Her four assists should also not go unnoticed, especially in what will no doubt be a fluid England attack.

But Ellen White wasn’t picked for her club record. Ellen White is the all-time top goalscorer for the Lionesses’ scoring 50 goals for her country in 107 matches so far, overtaking Kelly Smith (46) last year. The 33-year-old achieved the feat with a hat-trick in England’s 20-0 win over Latvia in World Cup qualifying and is now just four goals away from becoming the all-time top scorer among the Men’s and Women’s team, with only Wayne Rooney (53) currently having more.

and has a very good record since Wiegman took charge.

In 12 appearances under Wiegman, White has scored 11 goals, with only Beth Mead (14) managing more so far during the Dutchwomen’s tenure.

Faye White, who captained England at Euro 2005 (in England) and 2009, believes Ellen White should be the Lionesses’ starting striker at the tournament.

“That one is easy for me, it’s Ellen White,” Faye White told Squawka when asked to pick between Ellen White, Russo and England to start for the Lionesses.

“You can’t not bank against her in a tournament. She got four goals I think for City this season in the WSL, but Ellen White, proven, in the big tournaments is one of those big-game players who will step up.

“Hopefully she gets over her Covid and she’s there, but if not I would like to see Alessia Russo. I think she’s done really well in the WSL, as well.”

Women’s Euro 2022: England vs Austria odds from William Hill

Odds correct at time of writing (14:00, 03/07/21). You must be 18 or over to gamble. For more information, visit

Of Ellen White’s 50 England goals, seven have come in major tournaments including five at the 2019 World Cup. No England player has scored more goals than Ellen White at a World Cup, level on six alongside Gary Lineker and Harry Kane.

Another potential decision for Wiegman to make is that of who plays in the roaming No.8 or No.10 role, which Fran Kirby, Georgia Stanway and Ella Toone appear to be fighting for. Kirby would have been the favourite for the role but missed the end of Chelsea’s Double-winning campaign through fatigue issues and only made her return in the friendly win over Belgium.

Nevertheless, Faye White believes she will still get the nod with Stanway perhaps playing back up should Wiegman opt to play Leah Williamson and Keira Walsh in a double pivot.

“I think she’ll start with Fran Kirby, but I think Georgia’s done pretty well too,” Faye White added.

“I think Fran can give you that extra little bit of magic but it’s just whether she’s really sharp, I don’t think she’ll be able to last 90 minutes very often either. So it’s how she manages that really, of putting Fran in and then expecting the others to come on.

“I just think Ella Toone might be a little bit, not quite got the experience against the bigger nations. I think against the Austrias and Northern Irelands, yeah she’d cope no problem.”

You can watch the full interview with Faye White on Squawka’s YouTube channel.