Victoria Pelova, the Arsenal star who beat Leicester 6-2 last weekend.
Midfielder, who also provided two assists in the second half of a rout on King Power Stadium attracted attention for scoring her team’s fourth and final goal.
The Gunners’ win saw them climb up to second place in the Women’s Super League standings as they try to keep pace with the leaders Chelsea.
We reflect upon how Pelova, one of Arsenal’s most important players in this season’s campaign, has emerged.
Pelova is one of the most accurate passers in the WSL.
Few players in this division can match her ability to exploit weaknesses in opponents’ defences. She demonstrated that skill once again in Leicester.
Cloe Lacasse scored after a Pelova’s superb pass in the second-half. The Canadian ran clear and began Arsenal’s fightback.
The Gunners’ No21 then tapped in to the net after Lacasse had returned the favor, and set up Stina for an easy finish inside the box.
It is perhaps not surprising that such a performance has been so influential.
Pelova is second to none in the WSL when it comes to goal creation per 90 minutes (1.38) and third for assists (3).
Setting up in
Pelova is an Arsenal player who moved from Ajax to Arsenal in January last year. He has clearly grown more confident with every impressive performance.
The 24-year-old has settled in to North London after an adjustment period that was inevitable.
She stated: “My teammates are incredible, they make me feel like I’m at home.”
The more I play, the more relaxed I feel. I’m getting to understand my players and they are getting to me.
The connection between the players and the coach is growing. I like them all on the outside, but you can now see this too.
“I tell all coaches that I’m not a left or right forward. Or a wingback. “I don’t mind if it is central, whether I am playing six, eight, or 10, as long as I’m central.”
Trust is earned
Pelova has flourished at Arsenal since earning the confidence of Jonas Eidevall.
This is a stark contrast from last season when the international with 49 caps was perhaps hindered by a lack of consistency and arguing over which position she should play.
Eidevall stated in May: “You need Pelova to play the game, so you have to put her into a position where she is heavily involved.”
She can start from either a wide position or a more central one.
We will be able to see Victoria’s strength in one place when the time comes.
Few months later, Dutch star Kyra Cross-Cooney put on her most impressive performance in the Arsenal engine room since joining the club.
Eidevall, who is preparing the Gunners to play Brighton in the WSL finals, may have discovered the formula which will make Pelova one of WSL’s top operators.