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Women's World Cup

‘Miedema can be as good as Wambach' - Netherlands striker backed to be one of the greats

5:00 PM GMT 24/06/2019
Miedema Wambach split
After becoming the Oranje's all-time top-scorer at just 22 years old, the Arsenal striker has been backed by one Gunners legend to set more records

Former Arsenal defender Faye White believes Vivianne Miedema can be one of the greatest strikers ever – backing her to reach the level of USWNT legend Abby Wambach.

Miedema scored 22 goals and provided 11 assists in just 20 FA Women’s Super League games for the Gunners this season, as they lifted the title for the first time since 2012.

She has carried that form into the Women’s World Cup too, scoring a double against Cameroon to surpass Manon Melis as the Netherlands all-time top-scorer – taking her tally to 60 goals on her 77th cap, all at 22 years old.

It has been some year for the striker and so it is no surprise to see her earn such high praise from White, who won 31 trophies in her 17 years with Arsenal.

Speaking at a William Hill World Cup event, White said: “She’s such a good player. I do think she’ll go on to be one of the greats.

“You look at her goalscoring record for the country and Arsenal now, it’s ridiculous.

“I’m sure she will go on to be one of the great strikers, on the level of Wambach, hitting records and all sorts. She’s a special player.”

Wambach currently holds the record for most international goals ever, having netted 184 times in 256 caps for the United States between 2001 and 2015.

She is being chased down by Canada’s Christine Sinclair, who is just two behind the record after scoring in her nation’s 2-1 defeat to the Oranje which secured top spot for Miedema’s side.

Considering Wambach had only one goal to her name at 22 and five when she turned 23, to suggest the Arsenal striker can chase down her record is not an excessive prediction.

“She’s not quick, but the amount of time she makes and her ability to deceive defenders and get a shot in from like half a yard… Or sometimes you think how’s she got that out with three defenders around her and still put it in the back of the net? And that’s happening, week in, week out in the WSL for Arsenal,” White said.

“I think she’s a very special player and someone of that calibre who can put away a header, can put away a long shot, can put away a ball running at players.

“She’s got a bit of everything in her game.”

Miedema helped lead the Netherlands to glory as they hosted the UEFA Women’s European Championships in 2017, scoring four times – including twice in the final.

She also hit seven in qualification for this summer’s Women’s World Cup and, with two to her name in France, her contributions make the Dutch an outsider for another title.

“The favourites would be the USA, again, and France,” White, who won 90 caps for England, said.

“I don’t think England are favourites, purely because we haven’t got the history and the performances, although we’ve got the win, haven’t been emphatic.

“We do have the ability, don’t get me wrong, but at the moment England wouldn’t be favourites.

“The other one I would pick out on the other side of the draw would be the Netherlands,” she continued.

“Just because of the way the draw is, they could go all the way to the final and with their experience of the Euros and the team that they have as well.”

The Oranje face England’s Group D opponents Japan on Tuesday in the last 16, with Italy or China awaiting the winner in the last eight.

#England Women are 6/1 with William Hill to win the Women’s World Cup