Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema has been named FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year, making the Dutch goalscorer the first overseas winner since the women’s award was created in 2017/18.
Miedema had stiff competition to win the FWA prize by a single vote from Chelsea striker Bethany England, who was tied with the Arsenal star atop the WSL scoring charts when the season was put on hold – and is also a league champion as a result of Chelsea being awarded the title on points per game.
Miedema had scored 29 times in all competitions prior to season being suspended as a result of the coronavirus crisis. And even though the Women’s Super League campaign was abandoned, she may yet add to that tally when Arsenal resume their Champions League journey in August.
Her individual highlight of the WSL season came in December when Arsenal thrashed Bristol City 11-1, a new league record for the biggest ever win. The 23-year-old scored six goals that day, a double hat-trick, as well as contributing four assists.
The player has also netted eight times at international level this season, putting her even further ahead as the Netherlands’ all-time leading scorer, a record she broke during last year’s World Cup.
Miedema is noted as a very unselfish player who doesn’t necessarily have a goalscorer’s natural poaching instincts but she admitted in April it is a mindset she is trying to get more into.
“Probably the last four seasons, I’ve become more of a ‘nine’, but I just how I grew up playing, I love assisting people, I love to be part of the game, I love to have the game in front of me as well. I think it’s because maybe I’m not a [natural] ‘nine’ that I don’t really have that same feeling,” she said.
“Sometimes I think I should be a bit more selfish and just go for it. I enjoy scoring goals, I’ve always done that and I’ve always wanted to score goals. But it was like, if I didn’t score a goal for one game but assisted three goals, I was happy.
“Sometimes the girls do say to me, ‘Be a bit more selfish. Just got for goal there instead of playing it’. That’s probably something I’ll have to develop in the next couple of years.”
Chelsea star Fran Kirby was the first ever FWA Women’s Footballer of the Year in 2017/18, while former Manchester City striker Nikita Parris picked up the award last season.