Arsenal fans were given some very welcome news earlier this week when star striker Vivianne Miedema signed a new deal with the club.
The length of the 25-year-old’s new contract has not been disclosed but is believed to be for another 12 months, with the option to extend for an extra year.
Before Miedema penned her new terms with Arsenal, there had been a lot of speculation surrounding the Dutch talisman’s future, with a number of clubs in Europe hoping to secure her signature this summer.
In an interview with The Guardian, the forward confirmed she has attracted a lot of attention from other clubs but revealed why she opted to spend another year in England.
“I want to be part of a team that is experiencing a certain growth,” she said “Five years ago I came to Arsenal because I wanted to help that club move up. Once we won the league and in the past few years we have been close. Last season we were in the running until the last day, but Chelsea won it in the end.”
In her five years at Arsenal so far, Miedema has won one Women’s Super League title and one FA Cup. During her contract talks, she stressed to the club that developments must be made in order to push for more titles or she will be looking to “take another step” in her career.
As unarguably one of the best players in the world, Miedema is constantly being monitored by other big teams. The forward herself admitted that she had received interest from France, Spain, and other English clubs as the final months of her previous contract ticked down.
But despite teams like Barcelona wanting to snap her up, Miedema has stressed her focus is “now completely on Arsenal.”
A milestone new deal
Miedema’s new deal with the Gunners has reportedly established her as the highest paid women’s player in England.
No figure has been released but the Dutch star briefly discussed her wage situation and revealed there were two clubs looking to offer her a higher salary to sign her this transfer window.
“There have been two clubs where I could have made more money, but I think I can say that I will be the highest-paid [women’s] footballer in England. So I certainly can’t complain.”
Miedema went on to praise Arsenal’s club culture and said she feels appreciated where she is, in a team that shares a very close bond in the dressing room.
“I really felt the appreciation of the club, and they do things well anyway. When you walk into the training complex at Arsenal you have the feeling that something is being worked on, you feel accepted, heard. You are part of something bigger. They very emphatically take their social responsibility seriously off the field. Arsenal are simply classy.”
While Miedema’s new wage remains undisclosed, she stressed that money is not as much of a driving force in women’s football as it is in the men’s game.
“The beautiful and pure thing about women’s football is that the motivations and the happiness lies more in the team working well.”
Why Miedema chose Arsenal
Miedema admitted she was uncertain on her future up until two weeks ago but has discussed the main reasons why she decided to extend her stay at Arsenal.
The arrival of new manager Jonas Eidevall played a big part in her decision.
Since the signing of Swedish striker Stina Blackstenius, Miedema has made several appearances in the No.10 position, operating behind her new teammate.
Since the start of the year, Miedema has become more of a playmaker, which is a role she feels more comfortable in.
“I always played in the No. 10 position when I was a kid but because we didn’t have a striker in the national team I ended up playing there,” she explained. “And when you score that many goals you know you are not going to change position again.
“I think I can contribute even more in the No. 10 position and so far it hasn’t had an effect on the number of goals I have scored either. Now I have more freedom and I can show more of myself.
“In the past I was often an island on my own up front. Now I am a connecting player and much more involved in the game.”
The close-knit bond between the players is another major reason behind her decision to stay at Arsenal. Miedema also admitted England “feels like home” to her now and the “relaxed lifestyle” appeals to her.