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53 goals, a WSL title and a World Cup final: Miedema finishes superb 2019 in style

14:35 GMT 15/12/2019
Vivianne Miedema Arsenal 2019-20
The 23-year-old ended her incredible 12 months with a double in Southport, surely wrapping up the Golden Boot before Christmas

There is no one in the game quite like Vivianne Miedema, nor has there probably ever been.

On the pitch, she is a sheer goal-scoring machine, taking her tally in this season’s FA Women’s Super League to 14 in nine games with two in Arsenal’s 3-1 win against Everton.

But more than that, when she swaps her No.9 hat for her No.10 one, she is a magician behind the front line who can pull the strings as well as any playmaker in the world.

“I would say I play more like a 10,” she told Arseblog recently.

“I know I have my goalscoring qualities, but I like setting people up. I like to drop and pick up the ball and see if I can send someone through on goal.

“I like to see if there is someone in a better position than me. I am not bothered if I don’t score for one or two games if I know I have assisted others or that I have played well.”

It’s a mentality that allows her to play with incredible freedom.

Against Everton, Arsenal’s last game before the winter break, she was as good as ever.

It was not the record-breaking six-goal and four-assist game against Bristol City , but she had the flicks, the tricks, the vision and the movement in another outstanding display.

That is without mentioning the two goals. The first was a lovely looping header, one which was – and needed to be – perfectly placed to beat an in-form Tinja-Riika Korpela in the home goal.

The second was as simple as they come, a tap-in from a yard out at the far post, but her movement was brilliant as she met Leonie Maier’s low cross.

While the 23-year-old certainly expects a lot from herself, there’s no pressure on her to hit certain numbers, win awards or set records, but rather play her part in a successful team.

“I think my main goal is just going somewhere that I can grow together with the club and help the club grow and that’s the choice I made when I came here,” Miedema told Goal before the season.

“I could have gone to clubs that were probably set up a lot better and who wanted to win the Champions League but I’m here because I wanted to build something.

“That’s what we’ve done, that’s what we’re still doing. We’re obviously not there yet but you can see that we’re getting better and stronger every season. I think that’s my biggest motivation.”

As her comments of “not [giving] a sh*t” about awards show , individual praise comes in a very distant second on her list of priorities.

In the New Year, there is likely to be a lot more focus on her though, with Sam Kerr to arrive at Chelsea and the comparisons to be unavoidable from fans worldwide.

That being said, they should be avoided.

Arguments over who is better, who best deserves certain awards and so on and so forth are already flying around and are sure to as long as the pair are playing in the same division and their stats are on a level playing field.

But the idea that someone has to be either 'Team Kerr' or 'Team Miedema' spoils the fact that the WSL will be blessed with both for the foreseeable future.

Each have different strengths and weaknesses, each have totally different games, but because each start in the same position, that means they must be compared and one must be definitively declared the best?

For now, the WSL is Miedema’s world. Last season’s PFA Player of the Year has surely wrapped up the Golden Boot already and is helping the Gunners challenge on four fronts for the first time in five years – with them back in the Women’s Champions League quarter-finals after a lengthy spell away following last year’s title win.

And the way she is leading that charge with her majestic play and scintillating goal-scoring form is incredible.

There is no doubt that Miedema deserves more recognition for her individual brilliance, but if she isn’t bothered, why should anyone else be?

This is a player who is still just 23 years old, already a European champion, with the world at her feet.

She has scored 53 goals in 2019 alone, won the WSL, become the Netherlands' all-time top goal-scorer and reached a World Cup final.

Everyone should be enjoying her – not arguing whether or not someone else is better.

After all, there is absolutely no one like Miedema, and it would be incredibly lucky if this generation were to see anyone like her again.