Katie Chapman: Chelsea captain 'should start for England'

By Tom GarryBBC Sport
Katie Chapman
Chelsea captain Katie Chapman is in fine form for the league leaders so far this season

Chelsea Ladies captain Katie Chapman deserves to start for England at this summer's Women's World Cup, according to the Blues manager Emma Hayes.

The in-form midfielder, 32, scored the only goal of the game as league leaders Chelsea beat Birmingham City on Sunday.

"It was a masterful performance from Katie," Hayes told BBC Sport. "She is so important to the team.

"She should be starting for England in that position. I don't think there's anybody better in this country."

Competition for places
Katie Chapman was an unused substitute for Mark Sampson's England side in their last match - a friendly against China.
The 32-year-old, who has won 82 senior international caps for her country, came off the bench as England won the Cyprus Cup final on 11 March.
Liverpool's Fara Williams, Manchester City's Jill Scott and Birmingham City's Jade Moore & Jo Potter are also pushing for a starting role in central midfield for England this summer.

Chapman also opened the scoring in Chelsea's 2-1 FA Women's Cup quarter-final win over holders Arsenal on 12 April.

"They seem to be going in at the moment," the former Chicago Red Stars player told BBC Sport. "I'm happy with that.

"Any chance you've got, you've got to try and take it. That's what I'm doing at the moment and, if it continues for the season, that'll be fine with me."

Chelsea, who have a 100% record so far this season, host second-placed Arsenal on Thursday.