Arsenal boss hails “incredible” player and opens up on the conversation which made them undroppable

Arsenal head coach Jonas Eidevall hailed player of the season candidate Frida Leonhardsen Maanum and opened up on the conversation which has made her undroppable.
Frida Maanum of Arsenal celebrates after scoring the team’s first goal during the FA Women’s Super League match between Arsenal and Leicester City. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images) Frida Maanum of Arsenal celebrates after scoring the team’s first goal during the FA Women’s Super League match between Arsenal and Leicester City. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
Frida Maanum of Arsenal celebrates after scoring the team’s first goal during the FA Women’s Super League match between Arsenal and Leicester City. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

The Norwegian midfielder has been one of the stand out players in the Women’s Super League this term after scoring eight goals in 18 games and is a leading candiate for the league’s player of the season award.

Having started the season as a substitute, it has been a remarkable rise to prominence for the 23-year-old. Maanum’s outstanding form has seen her become one of the first name of Eidevall’s team sheet and the Swedish boss shared details of the conversation the pair had which he feel has made her undroppable this season.

“Frida is a real success story this year” said the Swedish boss.

“She started off in the first games not playing so much. I remember when she came on against Ajax in the play-off game away, you just saw her energy and determination she played with. We had a conversation after that and I said you need to go like this because if you do you’ll play - it will be impossible not play you.

“When I see this in a player, I want to play this player all the time. I think she proved it right after that, from Lyon away onwards. She put a lot of work in and it is great to see. A young player coming in and growing both as an athlete and as a person in this environment” he added.

The midfielder showed her worth again on Friday night as her stunning strike helped Arsenal edge closer to Champions League qualification by defeating a stubborn Leicester City side at Meadowbank and Eidevall pinpointed why Maanum is an interesting case when it comes to scouting players.

“It shows why it is hard to look sometimes at purely statistics when you look at young players. When you’ve seen Frida in Sweden , you always saw she had a great shot but she had not scored many goals. When you look at it from a statistical perspective, that could have been something that could have been held against her when you look at a player like that in the number 10 position because you would see if she contributes enough points for the team.

“And that’s where I think you need to look at the potential when you’re working with young players. You have to see the qualities and if they can fit it - and now you can surely see that she contributes with a lot of points when in that position. I find that very, very interesting when you work with young players.”