Vivianne Miedema is a hot topic across different sectors of women’s football fans this season. Social media posts of late range from discussing how she should have won the Ballon d’Or, to criticising her recent form.
The Dutch talisman is far and away one of the best strikers in the world. She can disappear from a match completely, only to emerge seconds later with a ball in the net and a cool expression.
Miedema outperforms the game of football by beating her xG and making efficiency a mantra.
Therefore, it is no surprise that several clubs have been keeping tabs on her for a potential transfer. One of these clubs is Barcelona.Embed from Getty Images
Vivianne Miedema’s style under Eidevall
Miedema’s form has somewhat dipped from her usual electrifying displays. She has netted once in Arsenal’s last five WSL fixtures, and while this is not a statistic to be sniffed at, it is out of character for the Dutch trailblazer.
Under Jonas Eidevall, Miedema’s goals and assists per 90 have decreased and an eminent knack for chance creation has partly fallen away. But contextually, Miedema’s form makes sense.
With Joe Montemurro, Miedema frequently dropped into the midfield. If her chance creation was stifled from centre-field, Arsenal’s movement stagnated. Wide forwards rarely capitalised on space behind opposition defense. Arsenal’s lack of runs in the final third forced Miedema to keep the ball herself.
This year, Miedema occupies a central striker role to ensure a constant forward option and an instigator for a high press. Miedema has adapted to this role well, only dropping into the midfield when a wide forward cuts central. Beth Mead in particular interchanges with Miedema with fluidity and intelligence.
Although Miedema faces criticism for her recent performances, she plays her assigned role to the highest level. With the introduction of Stina Blackstenius, Eidevall has the option to drop Miedema into the midfield.Embed from Getty Images
Does Miedema suit the best team in the world?
Miedema forces chance creation from deeper positions, in addition to making runs behind the opposing defence. She occupies a space between the half-midfield position of Jenni Hermoso and the out-and-out forward role of Asisat Oshoala. Though Miedema’s style is adaptable and free-flowing, structure and rigidity make her successful. A single chance is all the striker needs to turn a match around, even if her overall game impact is minimal.
While her stealth is crucial in big matches, Miedema’s typical appearance of dissociation may not suit a passionate and charismatic Barcelona. Matches in the Primera Iberdrola force players to prove starting positions through domination.
Furthermore, Alexia Putellas, Aitana Bonmatí, and the current form of Lieke Martens ensure that Barcelona are never short on goals. The attacking capabilities of Barcelona’s non-forward players make them lethal. Barcelona can and will destroy any team they face — Miedema or no Miedema.
The Spanish giants value chemistry off the field similar to their on-field awareness. Internationals such as Martens, Caroline Graham Hansen (signed until 2023), and Oshoala are carefully selected as long-term additions to a core of Spanish players.
The club’s heightened understanding and confidence within the most high-pressure situations radiate comfort. There is no doubt Miedema shares the same winning mentality as Barcelona. Whether or not she would respond well to the team environment is left to speculation.
As Miedema told Dutch paper AD: “I have to be happy off the field to perform on the field.”
Other clubs such as PSG and Lyon have shown interest throughout the past few months. Only time will tell where Miedema will make her next move.