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Talent Radar

Womens’ Young Player of the Year 2017: Vivianne Miedema

The third edition of the Young Stars of the Year champions the combination of youth & diversity, as we look to reward seven of the best young individuals across seven primary categories.

Under our Talent Radar banner, we have constantly strived to document and highlight the progress of the younger stars of the beautiful game, before they progress into household names.

The third edition of the Young Stars of the Year champions the combination of youth & diversity, as we look to reward seven of the best young individuals across seven primary categories.

Eligibility: 21 years old and below on January 1st, 2017

Vivianne Miedema’s 2017

Without a doubt, Miedema’s greatest contribution to the women’s game has to be her performances at the UEFA Women’s European Championship. The Netherlands were awarded the right to host the competition for the first time ever, with the forward playing a pivotal role in their success.

Despite being the hosts, many were viewing the likes of Germany, England, and France as the favourites. Regarding the Leeuwinnen, morale was initially low heading into the tournament due a run of poor form, and many dismissed the possibility of them winning the competition. How wrong they were.

Although missing out on the Golden Boot by one goal, her goals proved to be important as the home nation won the tournament. The 21-year-old scored the second goal against Sweden in the Quarter Finals, scored the opener against England in the Semi Finals, and even scored twice against Denmark in the Final.

In regards to club competition, the highly rated forward scored 14 goals in 22 appearances for Bayern Munich but it wasn’t enough to win the Frauen-Bundesliga for a third successive year. In addition, Miedema was also awarded for being the top scorer in the 2016/17 UEFA Women’s Champions League.

After her contract expired at the German club, many clubs across Europe were interested in signing the highly rated forward. The likes of Manchester City and Olympique Lyonnais were reportedly touting the 21-year-old, but it was English giants Arsenal Women who pulled off the shock swoop.

In an exclusive interview with Arseblog, Miedema revealed why she joined the English side: “I had been playing in the Bundesliga for three years and I wanted to try something new. I didn’t really agree with the style of football we played at Bayern and I want to become a better player. If you look at Arsenal, they play amazing football and that’s what I missed at Bayern.”

Her link-up play, pace, and also shooting ability are all qualities that her new club will try to take advantage of. It’ll be particularly interesting to see how she performs with some of the club’s best players such as Jordan Nobbs, Danielle Carter and Heather O’Reilly.

The exciting forward grew up as a Feyenoord supporter and tried to model her game to that of Robin van Persie. When at Bayern Munich, the Dutch forward was often deployed as a sole striker in a defensive set-up with the desire of using Miedema’s traits such as her aerial presence and movement.

Nonetheless, where she truly flourishes is when playing as part of an attacking system, similar to that of Sarina Wiegman’s philosophy as head coach of the Netherlands at the UEFA Women’s Euro. The coach often deployed a 4-3-3 system, with the exciting forward positioned in the heart of the attack. The full-backs would often push up into attacking roles to help take control of possession and provide service into the middle. (written by John Smith)

What do the Experts say?

Jen O’Neill, editer of SheKicks magazine & SheKicks.Net told us this:

“So often players do not go on to make the impact at senior level that early successes or predictions suggest for them but there’s little doubt that Dutch scoring sensation Vivianne Miedema is matching the hype.

From shooting the Netherlands U-19s side to European success in 2014 (picking up the Golden Boot as top scorer with six strikes and Golden Ball as best player), firing the senior team to their first FIFA Women’s World Cup appearances in Canada in 2015 (she scored all three in a 3-2 aggregate win against Italy in the play-offs, bagging 16 in total in qualifying), to netting twice in the final in Enschede as the Dutch stormed to a 4-2 triumph against Denmark to win UEFA Women’s Euro 2017, Miedema has made it. She’s on the verge of reaching the 50 goal milestone for the Oranje Vrouwen (47 in 59 appearances).

Her record at club level for SC Heerenveen (she top-scored with 39 in the 2013/15 BeNe League) and then for Bayern Munich (Frauen-Bundesliga champions in 2016 and runners-up in 2017) is equally eye-catching. Arsenal and the women’s game in England are excited and expect great things from her and she’s off the mark at her new club.

All this and yet still only 21. Two-footed, skillful and decent in the air, she is also strong, quick and has good vision and awareness. Miedema plays with a calm, almost languid style that so often marks out great players from the rest. Unhurried, unflustered, purposeful but most ominously for opponents, deadly in front of goal. She is modest (just witness her often muted goal celebrations) but has a massive future. Though even she admits she has some areas in her game still to work on as she admits: “I’m terrible at defending.””

Women’s football expert, Kieran Theivam, and editor of Women’s Soccer Zone told Outside of the Boot this:

“This summer’s EUROs was an opportunity for Vivianne Miedema to really show the world her qualities and why for so long she has been touted as one of Europe’s brightest young talents.

The Dutch forward was built up in the lead up to the 2015 World Cup in Canada, but in truth, at 18, that build up was unfair and put unnecessary pressure on young shoulders. What we saw this year was a player primed for the big occasion as she grew throughout the women’s EUROs, scoring key goals in the latter stages of the competition to help her team to the title.

Still only 21, Miedema is a player with the world at her feet, and worryingly for opposition defences, she is only going to get better.”

Women’s Young Player of the Year History

YearPlayerAge (at the time)NationalityClub (at the time)Current Club
2017Vivianne Miedema21NetherlandsArsenal &
Bayern Munich
2016Janine Beckie22CanadaHouston DashHouston Dash

Young Stars of the Year 2017 / 2016 / 2015

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