Danielle van de Donk has given her first interview since leaving Arsenal and she didn’t hold back, saying she didn’t think she could win the Champions League with the club.

Danielle van de Donk of Arsenal celebrates scoring with Kim Little during the Vitality Women s FA Cup Fifth Round Proper between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at Meadow Park Stadium , Borehamwood, UK on 16th May 2021. Borehamwood England United Kingdom Copyright: Action Foto Sport
Danielle van de Donk of Arsenal celebrates scoring with Kim Little during the Vitality Women s FA Cup Fifth Round Proper between Arsenal and Crystal Palace at Meadow Park Stadium , Borehamwood, UK on 16th May 2021. Borehamwood England United Kingdom Copyright: Action Foto Sport

Danielle van de Donk turned down a new contract at Arsenal to join Lyon on a free transfer at the end of her deal in London.

She has since spoken to various media in her home country, with van de Donk explaining why she left London. “I’m 29, it’s about thinking hard about what you still want to achieve as a player,” van de Donk said.

“As much as I had a good time at Arsenal, I honestly didn’t think I was going to win the Champions League there.”

“I know everyone there [at Arsenal], I know everything, I speak the language fluently. I don’t have all that in Lyon anymore. I don’t think it’s scary, I’m so excited about it. I also wanted to study something next to it. Well, I don’t speak a word of French yet, so I now have that interpretation too.

“Lyon is and remains one of the best teams in the world and I am honoured to play with the best of the best there.”

Van de Donk is believed to have agreed a three-year deal with the French side and was offered contracts by Arsenal but did not want to sign any of them.

The midfielder signed her last contract extension with Arsenal in 2019.

Only Lia Walti played more midfield minutes than van de Donk in the season just gone.

With 45 goals, a Super League title, FA Cup and two Conti Cups in her locker, it’s not surprising that van de Donk perhaps fancied a change of scenery.

It’s sad to see her go, for sure, and more than a little concerning about her view of the club and it’s one that a few players are said to hold.

Vivianne Miedema heads into the final year of her contract and, while her agent has said she will be with Arsenal next season, what the club do in this transfer window will determine if Miedema is still with Arsenal after that.

They could start with announcing a new manager…

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.