It’d be wrong to talk about this season’s WSL without mentioning Vivianne Miedema. The 23-year-old Dutch forward looks set to top her record-breaking 2018/19 (though there are two more games this season). In 20 games last season she scored 22 goals and assisted another 10. This season, after playing 9 games, she’s scored 14 and assisted 7. She’s outperformed her xG numbers in both seasons but her underlying numbers are still hugely impressive. The plot below shows how no one has come close to her expected goal contribution so far this season.
Given her goal record and height, it’d be easy to assume she’s just a goal poacher hanging around the box and being a focal point for crosses, but it isn’t the case. She’s spoken about having a mindset more like a #10 than a #9 and the creativity numbers back that up. But to have those creativity numbers without any kind of drop off to her goalscoring is what makes it so incredible. Last season her xG was 0.76 per 90 compared to 0.77 per 90 this season, but her xA has climbed from 0.18 to 0.51 per 90.
The Bristol City game, where she assisted 4 goals, was when her creativity was most on show. She had one assist thanks to a right-footed cross from the right and two left-footed crosses from the left before a nice pass into the box to find Lisa Evans running in from the right.
I do sometimes worry that when I talk about the WSL I talk too much about Arsenal, but it’s because they’ve quickly become one of my favourite teams to watch and Miedema is a big part of that. It’s scary to think she’s still only 23-years-old and already seems such a complete player.