Manchester United goalkeeper Mary Earps has expressed her frustration at untrue speculation regarding her future.
The 30-year-old capped an incredible 2023 by being voted the BBC’s Sports Personality of the Year on Tuesday night.
She helped England reach the World Cup final and saved a penalty in the showpiece match from Jenni Hermoso. The Lionesses were beaten 1-0, but Earps was voted goalkeeper of the tournament, having been named the best in her position in the world for 2022.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) December 20, 2023
She also kept 14 clean sheets as United finished second in the Women’s Super League, but there are question marks surrounding her club future, with Earps out of contract at the end of the season.
She insisted in the afterglow of her BBC success that the time was not quite right to discuss her future, but she has been angered by reports which claimed she wanted to leave United before the start of the season.
“I don’t really want to talk too much about it tonight because I want to celebrate this win, but what I will say is there is a lot of stuff that’s been put out there that isn’t true,” she said.
“I’ve remained quiet for a reason. I feel I’ve behaved really professionally and with a lot of integrity through this whole situation.
“What I will say is that I play with heart and passion in everything I do and I drive standards.
“A lot of stuff that’s been put out isn’t true. I want to say more, but I can’t at this stage and it’s really hard for me to sit quiet when I see a lot of things that are not right. I think it’s an injustice, but I know the appropriate thing to do is focus on my football and see what happens from there.”
Earps has been linked with following her former United team-mate Alessia Russo to Arsenal and also with a move to Barcelona.
Earps’ BBC award also came in the same year where she successfully challenged Nike to produce replicas of her England goalkeeper jersey.
Asked if she thought other brands would now follow suit, she said: “I’d like to think so. I’ve obviously had that commitment from Nike that it will never happen again.
“For me it’s the principle of making people happy and the messaging that was being sent out was really damaging. Now you don’t have that. People can be whatever they want to be.
“Representation and visibility is so important. The fact that young girls and adults – whoever want the shirts – can have access to them. People might be complaining now that there’s not enough, but I’ll absolutely take that complaint over there being none any day of the week.”
Earps’ ascent is all the more incredible given she was considering her international future after being left out of the England team for almost two years before Sarina Wiegman named her in her first squad in September 2021.
“I made my peace with the fact I would never be an England player again,” Earps said.
“That was where it was for me. It was the facts. It took a while for me to come to terms with that. It’s a hard pill to swallow when it’s all you’ve ever dreamed of.
“Sometimes you give it your all and you’re just not quite good enough, but luckily Sarina Wiegman came in and saw things in me that I didn’t see in myself.”