Arsenal manager Jonas Eidevall says he is happy to explore Victoria Pelova’s long-term position in the team. The Dutch attacking midfielder has been a revelation since joining the club in January, excelling as both a right-sided attacker and a central midfielder.
With Kim Little, Beth Mead and Vivianne Miedema out, her versatility has been useful as well as her quality. Arseblog News asked Jonas Eidevall whether he has a more fixed position in mind for her in the long-term and the Arsenal boss says he is open-minded and happy to see where she settles best.
“You want Pelova on the ball so where you put her in the team has to be in a role where you involve her a lot,” he explained. “You could tell against Leicester how comfortable she is with the ball. How comfortable she is in 1 v 1 situations and the good weight she has on her passes.
“Then depending on how we play, if that is from a wider position where she is dropping in and coming more central or whether she is starting from a central position, she can do both. It is probably going to be like it was with Frida (Maanum).
“Where we will see in the coming periods where Victoria’s strengths will really flourish into one position. That is why it is so interesting working with players to see where you can work out those details. We can all see the talent and the qualities she has and now it is to see where we can really put that into as much efficiency for the team as possible.”
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Eidevall explained that Maanum has probably excelled in an advanced position more than he expected when he first came to the club and underlined the value of keeping an open mind with individual player development.
“She has been incredible. Frida is a real success story this year. She started not playing so much, I remember when she came on in the away game at Ajax the energy and the determination she played with.
“We had a conversation after this and I told her, ‘if you keep going like this, you are going to play, it will be impossible not to play you.’ When I see this in a player I want to play that player all the time.
“She proved that right, after that. From Lyon away onwards. She put a lot of hard work in, it is great to see a young player come in and grow as an athlete and as a person.
A moment of quality from @fmaanum 🔥
This is your 🅰️🅰️🅰️ pass for Leicester City (h) 👇
— Arsenal Women (@ArsenalWFC) May 8, 2023
“It also shows why sometimes it is so hard to just look at statistics when you look at young players. I think when you see Frida in Sweden, you saw she had a great shot but she didn’t score many goals. When you see it from the statistical perspective.
“That is something we could have held against her when we looked at her in the number 10 position because you ask whether that would contribute enough points for the team. That is where you need to look at the potential when you work with young players, you have to see the qualities and now you see she is contributing a lot of points playing that position. That is very interesting when you work with young players.”