Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema has been named the Football Writers’ Association Women’s Footballer of the Year – the third time in as many years that the award has been won by a forward. The 23-year-old beat Chelsea’s Bethany England by one point, with Lyon’s Lucy Bronze and Guro Reiten of Chelsea finishing joint-third and Manchester
Arsenal striker Vivianne Miedema has been named the Football Writers’ Association Women’s Footballer of the Year – the third time in as many years that the award has been won by a forward.
The 23-year-old beat Chelsea’s Bethany England by one point, with Lyon’s Lucy Bronze and Guro Reiten of Chelsea finishing joint-third and Manchester City’s Ellen White fifth. Previous winners include Nikita Parris, then of Manchester City but now at Lyon, in 2019, and Chelsea’s Fran Kirby in 2018. Miedema was beaten to the award by a single vote last year.
Miedema finished as the Women’s Super League’s top scorer with 16 goals in 14 appearances – two ahead of Chelsea rival England. England won the League Cup and the league title with Chelsea but Miedema has the chance to win the Champions League with Arsenal when the competition resumes in August. Arsenal play PSG on Saturday August 22 in the quarter-finals at San Sebastian, and both Arsenal and Chelsea are still in the FA Cup, which remains under consideration by the Football Association.
Miedema’s finest hour in the WSL came with a double hat-trick in Arsenal’s 11-1 win over Bristol City, during which she also provided four assists. That feat took her just 65 minutes and helped Arsenal to the highest-scoring game in WSL history. Miedema is also the leading Champions League scorer with 10 goals, and was part of the Netherlands side that finished second to the USA at the World Cup in France last summer. She finished the tournament with three goals and is the country’s all-time record goalscorer of either gender.
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.”
Other players acknowledged in the voting were Steph Houghton and Lauren Hemp of Manchester City, Chelsea’s Erin Cuthbert and Sophie Ingle, Liverpool’s Rachel Furness, Arsenal’s Beth Mead, Manchester United’s Lauren James and Everton’s Chloe Kelly.