Martha Thomas: West Ham striker earns first Scotland call-up

Martha Thomas
Martha Thomas signed for West Ham from Le Havre this summer

West Ham United's Martha Thomas is a "huge asset" to Scotland Women, says manager Shelley Kerr, after handing the striker a first call-up.

The Dorset-born 23-year-old qualifies for England and United States but is in the 23-strong squad for the Euro 2021 qualifier in Albania on 8 November.

Arsenal full-back Emma Mitchell, who was left out of the squad for this summer's World Cup finals, is recalled.

Mitchell recently opened up about her battle with mental health problems.

"We had been tracking Martha for two years," Kerr said. "She has made the decision and I wanted to give her time.

"She came into the last training camp and did really well. She is skilful, quick over a few yards and a predator in the box."

Arsenal team-mate Lisa Evans is back among the strikers in the squad as Rosengard's Fiona Brown, Bristol City's Abi Harrison and Zoe Ness, who has just joined Lewes, drop out.

Liverpool's Christie Murray is back from injury, while fellow midfielder Rachael Boyle, of Hibernian, is recalled.

Glasgow City midfielder Sam Kerr drops out along with team-mate Nicola Docherty and fellow defenders Joelle Murray, of Hibs, and Kirsty Smith of Manchester United.

Thomas, whose family moved to Florida when she was six and has represented USA at under-23 level, signed for West Ham this summer after a season with Le Havre, having spent the previous three years with Charlotte 49ers.

Scotland began their Euro 2021 campaign with an 8-0 hammering of Cyprus at Easter Road in August.

Scotland squad

Goalkeepers: Lee Alexander (Glasgow City), Jenna Fife (Hibernian), Shannon Lynn (Vittsjo).

Defenders: Chloe Arthur (Birmingham City), Jennifer Beattie (Arsenal), Rachel Corsie (Utah Royals), Sophie Howard (Reading), Hayley Lauder (Glasgow City), Rachel McLauchlan (Glasgow City), Emma Mitchell (Arsenal).

Midfielders: Lizzie Arnot (Manchester United), Rachael Boyle (Hibernian), Leanne Crichton (Glasgow City), Lucy Graham (Everton), Kim Little (Arsenal), Christie Murray (Liverpool), Caroline Weir (Manchester City).

Forwards: Erin Cuthbert (Chelsea), Claire Emslie (Orlando Pride), Lisa Evans (Arsenal), Abbi Grant (Birmingham City), Jane Ross (Manchester United), Martha Thomas (West Ham United).

BBC Sport has launched #ChangeTheGame to showcase female athletes in a way they never have been before. Through more live women's sport available to watch across the BBC in 2019, complemented by our journalism, we are aiming to turn up the volume on women's sport and alter perceptions. Find out more here.