01 July 2020

Arsenal and Netherlands striker Vivianne Miedema named Football Writers' Women’s Footballer of the Year

Arsenal and Netherlands striker Vivianne Miedema has been named the Football Writers’ Association Women’s Footballer of the Year.

The 23 year-old scored an incredible 29 goals in just 22 games for the Gunners in a season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic.

Miedema was a part of the Dutch side that were runners-up at last summer's Women's World Cup (EMPICS Sport)

She also became The Netherlands’ all-time top scorer back in June 2019 before scoring three times at the Women’s World Cup to help her country to the final.

Speaking about the decision, chair of the FWA’s women’s sub-committee, Jen O’Neill, said: "This was a close-run decision because of the brilliant breakout season that Beth England had with the Lionesses and WSL champions Chelsea.

"However, Vivianne’s clinical efficiency in front of goal and her seemingly effortless poise, can mean her all-round ability and footballing intelligence are sometimes overlooked. She is a worthy winner and a world-class performer.

"With more assists than any other WSL player this season, she is also a valuable creator of openings for teammates; dropping to collect the ball and playing in others, or making space with her movement.

"Although a humble and laid-back character, she is also determined that the women’s game carries on breaking barriers, and she continues to co-author a series of children’s books to entertain and inspire young players in the Netherlands."

Miedema becomes the first Arsenal player to win the award, which is in its third year.

The two previous winners have both been English in Chelsea’s Fran Kirby and Manchester City’s Nikita Parris.

Arsenal were the defending WSL champions this season but failed to keep their title as Chelsea triumphed in what was an unbeaten season.

Miedema's sensational display against Bristol City came in the biggest ever WSL victory (PA)

The campaign was cut short due to the pandemic, with clubs having between six and nine games remaining.

And so despite Man City being top at the time of the league’s suspension, Chelsea were awarded the title as they were one point behind but with a game in hand.

The shortened season also meant Miedema and England could not fight it out for the Golden Boot as they were forced to share the honour, both finishing on 14 goals.

The most incredible match of the season came back in December when Arsenal beat Bristol City 11-1 at Meadow Park.

Miedema scored six and assisted a further four in what was one of the greatest individual displays in recent memory.

The Dutch finisher joined Joe Montemurro’s side in May 2017, arriving from Bayern Munich where she had netted 52 goals in 78 games.

Her strike rate across her career to date is an extraordinary one as she has scored 205 goals in 226 games over nine seasons as a professional.

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