Vivianne Miedema has already set goalscoring records and now wants to become an Arsenal legend.
The Dutch striker became the first player to score more than 50 goals in the Women’s Super League, now has 52 in just 51 appearances and has got more targets in her sights.
Miedema, 24, talks regularly to Arsenal legend Ian Wright, grew up watching Robin van Persie and enjoys the way the women’s game has evolved so much that fans give them as much respect.
That in itself is a point in time because the WSL stages its Women’s Football Weekend with games staggered over the international break to maximise big clashes like Arsenal’s showdown with Chelsea to try and build the interest.
“It’s one of the most important things as a player, you want to feel appreciated by the club, valued by the club and it’s something that in the early years of women’s football is hard to create,” she said.
“But now, in terms of where we stand, it’s obviously amazing to have support from Wrighty and Robin.
“To be seen as a part of the club, not just from the club’s side but also from the fans’ perspective which is really nice and you can see it growing and that makes it really exciting.
“It’s amazing for ex-professionals to be interested in women’s football and we need that way more. Ian’s the prime example of knowing women’s football is rising and I’m pretty sure his daughters and granddaughters are playing a big part of it.
“But it’s amazing to have big legends on board with us. I catch up with him a lot at the moment and it’s nice to have someone to talk to and share your frustrations with as well.”
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Miedema broke through the 50 barrier last month with a hat trick against Tottenham, won the Golden Boot last season and yet still believes there is much more to come.
She used lockdown to focus on her game, went to Scotland with partner and team mate Lisa Evans and they got fitter so they are ready for an even tighter title race this season.
Miedema added: “Lockdown was a difficult time for a lot of people but I really enjoyed it because I’ve become fitter and started to enjoy football more and more again. These are all things that I can keep improving upon.
“I was running all the time! We were up in Scotland, we had a couple of people checking if we were spending too much time outside, so we had to make the most of the hour or so and I was together with Lisa and we could stay fit and play football as well.
“It’s really exciting how they’re planning this weekend and it’s a good thing. I think it’s definitely an open race, it’s not a case of one, two or three teams anymore. We saw against Man United last Sunday, they are going to be right on top this season with the other big clubs.
“The level of the league is a lot higher than it used to be and I’ve only been in England for three years so that shows how it’s exciting it’s become and I think it’s good for us as players because we need to be the best we can be.”
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