Jess Park Sarina Wiegman splitGetty/GOAL

England's new game-changer? Sarina Wiegman should give Man City star Jess Park a chance to thrive in Lionesses' February camp

How big a week could this end up being in Jess Park’s career? After making back-to-back starts for Manchester City for the first time in two years and producing a match-winning display in their monumental win over Chelsea, the 22-year-old now heads off to Spain for England’s first two fixtures of 2024 – and Sarina Wiegman is surely looking at granting her an opportunity to continue that momentum.

Park has had to be patient this season. Having thrived on loan at Everton last year, she’s stuck around in Manchester this time and it’s not been easy to break into a team that is now joint-top of the Women’s Super League. However, the reason they now hold that status is in no small part thanks to the England starlet.

Her performance on Friday, at league leaders Chelsea, was outstanding. No one created more chances than Park, who’s delicate through ball set up Khadija Shaw to score the winning goal inside 15 minutes. She did her work on the other side of the ball, too, winning possession back four times and making three clearances, a number only bettered by Laia Alexiandri and Alex Greenwood, Man City’s centre-back duo.

Article continues below

It's always felt like Wiegman has seen something in Park. While still quite young and forging her way in the WSL, she has continued to receive England call-ups on a consistent basis and has been granted a decent number of chances by a manager who doesn’t shake things up all too often.

So as the young forward comes into the Lionesses’ first camp of the year on a real personal high, the likelihood of her being granted just a second-ever start for her country feels big. In fact, Park’s sprightly manner could be exactly what England need as they look to bounce back from the Nations League heartbreak that devastated them at the end of 2023.