Arsenal swoop for Ajax star in major transfer to replace Nobbs

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Victoria Pelova has been a regular for the Dutch national side in recent seasons (Image: 2022 BSR Agency)
Victoria Pelova has been a regular for the Dutch national side in recent seasons (Image: 2022 BSR Agency)

Arsenal have signed highly-rated Ajax midfielder Victoria Pelova on a permanent deal.

Pelova, 23, has only played in the Vrouwen Eredivisie in her career to date but will be expected to help Arsenal's push for silverware in the second half of the season. The WSL title contenders have moved swiftly in the transfer market after letting Jordan Nobbs go to Aston Villa.

The talented Dutch playmaker has won 35 caps for her native Netherlands and was part of the Dutch squad who reached the 2019 FIFA Women's World Cup final. She also impressed on English soil at the European Championships last summer, scoring against Switzerland at Bramall Lane and was believed to be the subject of interest from Real Madrid and Wolfsburg.

But Arsenal appear to have won the race with the deal completed subject to the completion of regulatory processes. She could make her debut in a London derby against Chelsea at the Emirates on January 15.

“I’m delighted to have signed for Arsenal,” said Pelova. "I’ve always admired this club and dreamt of following in the footsteps of some of the great Dutch players who have worn the shirt. I can’t wait to get going and start contributing to the team."

Mikel Arteta's dream Arsenal line up as last-gasp January transfers are secured eridzriquhikeinvMikel Arteta's dream Arsenal line up as last-gasp January transfers are secured

Her new head coach Jonas Eidevall added: "It’s fantastic news that we've signed Victoria. I think she’s one of the most exciting young players in the game and she will bring added dynamism and energy to our midfield.

"I’m looking forward to working with Victoria and I think our supporters are going to love watching her in an Arsenal shirt."

Head of Women’s Football Clare Wheatley added: “We’re very pleased to have secured the signing of Victoria. She is one of the best young talents in European football and someone we have been tracking for some time.

"I know she will be an exciting addition to our squad and I look forward to watching her link up with her team-mates soon."

Over the course of three and a half seasons in Amsterdam, Victoria made 66 appearances for Ajax and scored 11 goals. Prior to her time with the Dutch giants she began her professional career at ADO Den Haag in 2016. Pelova has actually played against her new teammates twice already this season, Arsenal edging a Champions League tie 3-2 on aggregate after two legs.

With Vivianne Miedema and Beth Mead sidelined for the rest of the season, Pelova will be a welcome addition for Eidevall as he looks to bolster his squad. More arrivals are expected at the club before the end of the transfer window.

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Jack Lacey-Hatton

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