By Lloyd Webb
Kelly Smith says Danielle Van de Donk has brought “a new dimension” to Arsenal Ladies' attack.
The Netherlands international scored a hat-trick in Sunday’s 7-0 win against Sunderland to help the Gunners reach the Women’s FA Cup final.
Smith has been impressed by Van de Donk’s impact since her summer arrival and says she has adjusted well to playing in England.
"All focus is on on the league game against Chelsea. We want to set a stall out, get in their heads and try to win ahead of the Wembley game. It’s a massive, massive game for the women’s game and Arsenal too"
“She’s taken a few games to settle in, understand her role in the squad and the way we play, but she certainly stepped up against Sunderland,” Smith told the Arsenal Weekly podcast.
“She brings composure to the side because she’s so good on the ball technically. She can see a pass, hold the ball up and she’s very aggressive for such a slight player. She’s added a new attacking dimension to our play.
“She wasn’t even in the squad for the last couple of games, but she came in, stepped up for the side and scored a hat-trick. That’s what you have to do when you’re given your opportunity and you have to respect that.”
Smith will be looking to help the Gunners lift a record 13th Women’s FA Cup against Chelsea on May 14, and cannot wait to return to the iconic stadium.
“It’s a dream to play at Wembley,” she said. “I’m lucky enough to have played there for Great Britain in the Olympics against Brazil in front of 75,000 people.
“To get that opportunity for myself and the club, and as an Arsenal fan as well, it’s a dream come true. To walk up those stairs and lift that trophy, if it happens, will be amazing.
"Between now and May 14, all the girls are going to be training as hard as possible to put themselves in the manager’s head to make the small squad of 16.
“All focus is on on the league game against Chelsea. We want to set a stall out, get in their heads and try to win ahead of the Wembley game. It’s a massive, massive game for the women’s game and Arsenal too.”
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