Thursday, April 25, 2024

Danielle van de Donk joins Lyon

Arsenal’s Dutch forward Danielle van de Donk has joined French club Lyon. van de Donk joined the Gunners from Goteborg in Sweden after the World Cup in 2015 and instantly established herself as a popular player in the squad and a firm fan favourite.

“DvD”- as she is affectionately known- was part of the Gunners squad to win the 2016 FA Cup, the 2018 Conti Cup and the league title in 2018-19. She scored 27 goals in 97 appearances with Arsenal and also formed a core part of the Netherlands team that won Euro 2017 and reached the 2019 World Cup Final.

Lyon are currently rebuilding with the likes of Eugene Le Sommer and Dzsenifer Marozsán heading to the USA this summer and they have identified the 29-year old as part of that process. This is the first time since 2013-14 that Lyon have not won the Champions League and they will bid for their crown again this season.

The move also represents an excellent opportunity for the Dutch international as she enters her prime years after six years of excellent service in North London. Best of luck in France, Daan!

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What does this mean for Beth Mead???


I don’t know when their contracts are up, but I suspect that neither Mead nor Evans are long for Arsenal. Parris is going to play on right forward, I presume, and you’ve got Foord and McCable on the left (assuming that Catley takes the left-back spot). That would mean Mead out as a starter. I presume Evans will battle with Maritz for the right-back spot.


Thats a blow, she will be a miss.

Peter Story Teller

It seems whatever managed to convince Leah to hold on for one more year wasn’t enough for DvD if indeed anyone told her.
Meanwhile, whilst we still appear to be managerless and counting the signings we need to make if only we knew what style of player we want, Ebony Salmon took 74 seconds to score her first goal in NWSL!
We should have snapped her up for next to nothing when it was highly likely Bristol were on their way down to the Championship.

Peter Story Teller

Oh, by the way it was a goal of great individual skill that even Viv would have been proud of; watch the video on the BBC website!


Mortified 🙁


DVD was my favourite player at Arsenal (Women AND Men).
I am now very very sad.

Viv The 🐐

Just in a weak moment, where I thought DvD would stay -snap- my hopes get crushed. Wow. This one really hurts. A major shift in comparison to last year will also happen for the Womens midfield. I mean Nobbs will return into the 3 most likely. But still, tough stuff I have to say. Hope there is some grand masterplan in behind of this. But maybe not. I mean the new head coach has to be announced at some stage surely?

Peter Story Teller

Jordan must be in the midfield 3 because we only have 3 midfielders now!

Viv The 🐐

I mean isn’t Buchi somewhere in between? Oh god, I already see some experiments coming.


It’s Little, Walti, Buchi and Nobbs in the midfield now. That’s a good group but if the new coach is playing a 4-3-3 I sense a problem. Who’s sitting?


Walti is sitting, she is the best as single pivot in 433. But I think Mana is and can be in midfield in WSL only as 10 (in this years Jill role), but not as attacking 8. I think we will see Mana as one of the fowards mostly. We need to sign at least 2 midfielders. Backup for Lia (new Malin) and a 6/8 type.


Daan has never made it a secret that she’s eager for trophies and getting recognition for her hard work. She has often described her goal in the Euros against England as an important moment in her career. The Dutch press only talked about Viv and Lieke and sometimes Shanice. They were the ones who stood out, but Daans hard work went unnoticed, until she scored. It seemed like only then it mattered. She craves that recognition a lot. And she deserves it too. She only won the league once in her career, with Arsenal 2 years ago. She won 2… Read more »

Peter Story Teller

I wonder if that is why DvD appeared so unhappy for most of the season? She knew that she needed to move on but Meado was settled at Arsenal. Just a thought. I agree, at 29 and with one of Europe’s top teams asking for your signature you have to take them up on their offer just like Dom had to go to Wolfsburg as you will not get a second chance.


I don’t think Monte ever quite got a handle on the squad last year–and injuries complicated things as well. That’s three of my favorite Dutch NT members now gone!


Further to this, I suspect that DvD was not happy about spending time on the bench last year–a new and surely unpleasant experience for her (and others). It’s what happens when you have a group of good position players–they can’t all start–and Arsenal had 3 attacking mids last season (Roord, Nobbs and Dvd). There was a lot of lineup juggling–some necessitated by injuries– that IMO unsettled the team. I wonder how much DvD will play at Lyon, which will have as much or more talent than Arsenal. Henry is healthy again, for starters. Is DvD going to be a regular… Read more »


Did she rejected contract extension as what was being reported a month ago? Super sad to see her go.

Tim Stillman

She was offered a new deal, yes. I think she knew this whole season she would leave.


Shame, the new manager (whoever he is) could have revitalised her like what Joe did initially. But if she really wants to win the UWCL before retirement, she has certainly made the right call. I’ll start watching Lyon games in the upcoming season just to keep track of her performances and I hope that she will be more than a benchwarmer there.

Since we have 2 Dutch midfielders leaving, I hope we can add 1 back in. Groenen (unlikely), Kaagman and Pelova would be on my shortlist.


can we keep the option open that the new manager is not a ‘he’ plz?!

Bill Hall

Sorry to see her go, best of luck x


Good luck to Dvd. Has been wonderful player for us. I just hope that we replace her correctly. A lot of our problems came from having lot of same type players, so we had to play them out of position. I hope that with Jill and Dvd leaving, we sign players for different roles. We don’t need replace her with another 8/10, because we have Kim, Jordan and to extent Mana for that role. But same time have nobody for deeper midfield.


What a player DVD has been for us. I hoped we could have kept her for a couple more seasons and am sad to see her go. I completely understand her decision though. I hope she is able to win trophies with Lyon.


Danielle van de Donk #7 the only Arsenal player I’ve yet got printed on a kit. Lots of love from UG, she replaced Losanda as the midfield meastro and fan favourite.


How am I going to tell my daughter this, she her favourite player. Is the French League on TV or online highlights? She is going to be devastated.


Sign up for ata TV women’s football European, free most of it


Thanks Dirk I’ll look into it. 👍


Ugh, this is a woeful decision if arsenal had any choice in the matter. She was my favorite player.

Gunner H

I loved watching DvD and Jill Roord, both skilful footballers and deceptively effective contributors to the cause. Also “personality” players 🙂 Both are starters for the Netherlands, the World Cup Runners Up, so they should have been starting every Arsenal game – I feel the new coach would have achieved improved performance from both next season but of course it’s not to be – a real shame but Lyon + Wolfsburg are a big pull. Fabulous though that Leah has re-signed + I predict an “above expectations” 2021/22 season will ensure our future captain stays beyond then. I also predict… Read more »



Chris Humphrey

Best wishes Feisty One.
You have done us proud for six great seasons👏👏👏👏👏👏


I’ve just read her open letter to the fans. Very touching🥰

Merlin’s Panini

Thanks for your service DvD! A shame for us she wouldn’t extend the contract as she’s a very gifted player. Lyon is a beautiful city. I’m sure she’ll enjoy it there.
I’m just glad she didn’t go to Man City or Chelsea.
I just hope there are some sound investments made this summer. A manager might help too!


Nooooooo, Danielle was my favourite player! I’ll miss her. Best of luck at Lyon.


DvD was an absolute boss on the pitch. Someone you don’t want to mess with. I wouldn’t want to play against her. She will be missed.


Just read Dans open goodbye letter to Arsenal fans, absolute class.

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