Interview

Van de Donk How my game has evolved here

When Danielle van de Donk arrived in north London in November 2015, she was one of Europe’s deadliest No 10s.

With an eye for a pass and bags of composure in front of goal, the Netherlands international was equally as adept on the wings and up front.
 
But last season saw Van de Donk reinvent herself as a deep-lying midfielder and after signing a new contract on Friday, the 26-year-old paid tribute to Joe Montemurro’s impact.
 
“He gave me a lot of trust,” she told Arsenal Player. “That’s the main thing. The communication between Joe and me is good and I like to be open with a manager.
 
“I’ve always had a bit [of defensive work] in me. Normally I would play No 10 and I was just playing all over the pitch. I just want the ball, even if there’s a bit of defensive work I would do that defensive work. I prefer the ball at my feet and just dribbling in attack. 
 
“If it’s an attacking role then I love it a bit more, but Joe’s also played me in a defensive role and that’s more of a trust thing between Joe and I. He likes me building up from deep because I’m calm and confident on the ball, so I don’t really mind. It’s just where he wants me and I’ll play there.
 
“I think Joe’s going to bring some stronger players into the squad - not many, because we don’t need many - and I think we’re going to go for the prizes next year again. Hopefully there will be a few more prizes.”