Danïelle van de Donk has left Arsenal Women and joined Olympique Lyon on a free transfer. Van de Donk joined Arsenal in 2015, and set the record for most appearances by a non-British or Irish player, playing 142 times for the club. Van de Donk scored 45 times for the club, and won the FA Women’s Cup, two Continental Cups, and was a central part of Arsenal’s title win in 2018/19, scoring 11 goals and creating 5.
Van de Donk’s contract expired in June, and while there was interest from Arsenal to renew the deal, joining Lyon is an incredible opportunity for the Dutch international, who turns 30 in August. Van de Donk only scored twice and assisted twice in the WSL this past season, a decline in production that came in part from playing a deeper role than previous seasons.
It does emphasize, though, that Arsenal need investment in central midfield, with Jordan Nobbs, Lia Wälti, and Kim Little the only central midfielders at the club, as Malin Gut, who had been expected to leave, suffered an ACL injury in the final week of the season.