Vivianne Miedema targets Ellen White’s Manchester City legacy

Vivianne Miedema has said she hopes to find her “football happiness” and live up to Ellen White‘s legacy after signing for Manchester City last week.

The Dutch international made the high-profile move to Manchester after leaving Arsenal after seven years upon the expiry of her contract.

The WSL all-time top goal scorer signed a three-year deal with Gareth Taylor’s side and hopes to fill the shoes of former City and England striker White, who netted 34 goals in 90 games for City and remains as England’s top goal scorer with 52 goals.

“I knew it [moving to City] for a while, but we were looking for the right moment. I’m happy it’s out, and I’m looking forward to a new start. I’ve always been loyal to Arsenal and this is the best step for me right now,” she told ESPN while on international duty with the Netherlands.

“There are a few individuals who don’t agree and they’re allowed to. It has been a thought-out choice for me, and I hope to find my football happiness back at City.

“I’ve received so much love the past months. There are always people who are big fans of you. I talked a lot with Gareth Taylor about the playstyle of City. I hope I can score as many goals as Ellen White.”

White defended Miedema in May when Arsenal did not offer her a new contract. While Miedema confirmed that the decision to leave the club was mutual, White hopes that the 27-year-old will thrive at her new club.

“I think it’s an absolutely shocking decision by the club, to be honest,” White told BBC Radio 5 Live’s Women’s Football Weekly.

“To firstly not offer her a new contract, to not show her love and desire to keep her at the club, to not build a team around Vivianne Miedema. Her stats are outrageous, I would love to have her stats: 172 appearances, 125 goals and 50 assists.

“I just think it’s shocking that they haven’t shown her the love to want to keep her at the club, and if she does go to someone in the WSL, this is going to sound so bad, but I hope she goes to that team and sticks two fingers up at Arsenal, scores a few goals and celebrates hard in front of that board, to be like, ‘Hello, what are you missing here?’ Because she is 27 years old.

“If she wants to continue to play, obviously she’s had her ACL injury, hopefully she’s healthy and back to full fitness, she could play for a number of years and she’s still got records to break. It’s just outrageous.”

Speaking with the media on Friday following the announcement, Miedema said that the move to City was about prioritising herself. She was open to a move in the January transfer window after returning from an ACL injury.

She revealed it was a hard decision to leave Arsenal, whom she signed for in 2018, after three years with Bayern Munich, but she is looking forward to working with Man City’s premier forwards.

“One of the main things for me joining City is the way they play, and I think if you look at last season, they create so many chances, they score so many goals,” she told the media on Friday following the announcement of her move to City.

“I think I can add in another dimension to that obviously I am really, really excited to play with the likes of Bunny [Shaw], Hempo [Lauren Hemp], obviously Chloe Kelly and all the other girls. We are going to have so many options and I think once that clicks and connects we can get a really exciting set team.

“I’ve been playing on the left wing, coming inside, I’ve been playing as 10 and obviously mostly I’ve been playing as a nine. I’m very happy to adjust and to play either or.

“I think looking at the qualities they have, I think we’re going to have a lot of fun attacking-wise because I think we’ve all got very different qualities, and it’ll be really, really exciting for me to get to know the girls, to obviously have that understanding with them and I hope that I can help them raise their game even more comparing to this season. And yeah, I’m happy to either play a 10 or a nine.”

Manchester City lost out on the WSL title last season on goal difference. They finished level on points with Chelsea but slipped to a five-goal deficit after Golden Boot winner Khadija Shaw was ruled out of the final few games of the season following an injury.

City have not won the league since 2016, but Miedema hopes that forging a partnership with Shaw will be a recipe for success.

“I don’t really think you can find players that are farther apart when it comes to goal scoring and qualities, which is really exciting,” she said of the Jamaica international.

“I think once we get that connection going, we can really bounce off each other, and I think we can help each other in that way, and obviously, I love the part of creating for others as well, which I hope she can benefit from and the other way around.

“Depending on who you play against, we will both have different qualities that fit that game best, and I think for us, it’s just about trying to connect all these qualities and well, if we do get up and running, then it might be a really interesting season.”