Arsenal's Victoria Pelova suffers ACL injury with Netherlands

Arsenal have confirmed that midfielder Victoria Pelova has suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) while on international duty with the Netherlands.

Pelova was substituted in the 12th minute of the Netherlands' 1-1 draw with Finland last Tuesday during their Women's Euro 2025 qualifier in Tampere, Finland. Netherlands manager Andries Jonker told a news conference after the game that he could not rule out an ACL injury, with the 25-year-old undergoing tests to confirm its severity.

On Wednesday, Arsenal confirmed she will undergo surgery and will be sidelined for an extended period of time.

The 25-year-old midfielder enjoyed a stellar campaign for Arsenal last season, with only Alessia Russo playing more minutes for the club across all competitions. In 22 appearances in the Women's Super League (WSL), Pelova registered two goals and five assists.

The Netherlands international signed from Ajax in January 2023 to join compatriot Vivianne Miedema, who announced her departure from the club last month. Sources have told ESPN that Manchester City are the front-runners to sign the WSL's all-time top scorer.

Arsenal had four players mark returns from ACL injuries in the 2023-24 season including the aforementioned Miedema, Lionesses Beth Mead and Leah Williamson as well as Laura Wienroither, who signed a contract extension with the club on Monday.

Williamson spoke at the Oxford Union on Tuesday, during which she said the lack of research into injuries among women's players makes it more difficult to recover.

Williamson suffered an ACL injury that sidelined her from April 2023 until January 2024 and caused her to miss last summer's Women's World Cup.

The England captain said that roughly 37 women missed out on World Cup action last year due to ACL injuries.

"That's disgusting and that's a failure of sport in general," she said. "Even when we started asking the questions originally there were no answers because there is no research on women."