Aston Villa goalkeeper Hannah Hampton has undergone minor surgery on a recurring muscle injury and has now said she ‘can’t wait to be back’ on the pitch.
Considered one of the most talented young goalkeepers in Europe, 21-year-old Hampton has been engulfed by controversy in recent months.
It began when she was dropped by England in the wake of Euro 2022, having been a member of the victorious Lionesses squad at the tournament. Sarina Wiegman said at the time that Hampton had ‘personal issues’ she needed to resolve.
At the end of October, Villa boss Carla Ward said Hampton was left out of the squad that faced Chelsea because of an incident that happened the day before.
Ward said the player was ‘available’, but “…something happened and we decided it was in the best interests of the team and the squad for her to stay at home so I did exactly that.”
Hampton then travelled to the game independently anyway, watching from the stands at Kingsmeadow and posting on social media, making it obvious she was there.
Two days later, Hampton posted a short statement on social media explaining that an ‘ongoing medical issue’ has been affecting her this season and that she would be undergoing a corrective procedure, meaning a few weeks out of action to recover.
Bizarrely, Ward has since seemed to backtrack on whatever the unspecified incident was that resulted in Hampton being asked to stay at home.
“She has a recurring muscle injury, she’ll undergo a small medical procedure. After that she’ll be back in contention. That’s as much as I want to say on the matter,” Ward said on Friday.
In amongst the back and forth between Hampton and Villa, media reports have alleged issues with Hampton’s behaviour and attitude going back a number of years.
Earlier this week, England boss Wiegman didn’t rule out Hampton being recalled at some point, but reiterated that her ongoing exclusion from the Lionesses setup continues to be a ‘personal’ thing.
“Nothing changed…[it’s] something personal which I would really not like to comment on,” she said.
“The door is always open so when players perform and they perform consistently at club, then they have a chance to make the squad. I haven’t spoke to her myself. We have made a plan. It’s now, she is at the club and taking care of that. We are supporting and that’s where we are right now.”