So Long, Arsenal: Vivianne Miedema moves on but legacy will remain in North London

Miedema will leave Arsenal at the end of the season

So Long, Arsenal: Vivianne Miedema moves on but legacy will remain in North London

Vivianne Miedema was forced to watch Arsenal's Champions League semi-final against Wolfsburg last season from the sidelines. Credit- Charlotte Wilson/Offside

Vivianne Miedema accepted in her open letter to supporters that she will never be able to sum up her time in an Arsenal shirt in a piece of writing, and it’s unlikely that anyone will be able to find the right words to reflect on seven years with the Gunners that have been nothing short of sensational.

Signing from Bayern Munich in 2017, Miedema helped Arsenal to silverware at the end of the season, scoring the winning goal in the league cup final against Manchester City.

The following season quite simply belonged to Arsenal’s flying Dutchwoman, who netted 22 league goals as Joe Montemurro’s side won the Women’s Super League title without a defeat against their name. Arsenal are still waiting to win another WSL title.

Only the Covid-19 pandemic could stop Miedema’s scoring feats in 2019/20, a season in which she broke records by scoring six goals and assisting four in Arsenal’s remarkable 11-0 win over Bristol City.

Records would continue to be broken in subsequent seasons, with Miedema becoming the top goalscorer in WSL history and netting her 100th goal for Arsenal in 2021, in just 110 games for the club.

However, further trophyless campaigns gave Miedema a decision to make at the end of 2021-22, with interest from Barcelona and PSG testing the forward’s loyalty. Miedema however wanted to fight for trophies at Arsenal, and put pen to paper to remain in North London.

Arsenal fans were delighted to see Miedema stay, but football is a cruel sport. Miedema ruptured her Anterior Cruciate Ligament in December 2022, and had to wait until October the following year to return to action, receiving a fantastic reception away to Bristol City.

During Miedema’s injury absence, the striker missed her country’s World Cup campaign and could only watch from the sidelines as Arsenal valiantly reached the Champions League semi-finals. 

Along with her partner Beth Mead, who had also suffered an ACL injury, Miedema was involved in a club documentary showcasing their recoveries and discussing what can be done to improve the ACL crisis in the women’s game. Both have been vocal about mental health, LGBTQ+ rights, and are never afraid to speak out about issues on and off the pitch.

Whilst Mead was able to return to form and confidence rather quickly following her injury, Miedema was blighted by further knee injuries, which required minor surgery that would keep her out for several weeks.

When the Arsenal legend opened the scoring away to Liverpool with a thunderbolt from range, it felt as if normal service was resuming, but injuries again dealt a cruel blow. Arsenal have reportedly not offered her a new contract, with Manchester City apparently the most interested party.

Miedema deserves a chance in a side that will make the most of her unique skill set, and an injury-free time of it.

Sunday’s game against Brighton at Meadow Park could provide the perfect send-off, if Miedema is fit and available to play. Her next club will gain an iconic player, and an even better person. So long, Vivianne Miedema.

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