It's time to unveil the Vitality Player of the Season, as voted by the fans - and it should come as no surprise that it's Mesut Ozil!
The Germany international has had a fabulous campaign, breaking records, scoring goals and laying on assist after assist.
Ozil was the overwhelming winner of the award, and Arsenal.com news editor Rob Kelly gives his verdict on the 27-year-old.
When Arsène Wenger predicted in pre-season that Mesut Ozil would be a contender for Player of the Year, he once again displayed the prescience that has served him so well throughout his career.
For not only did the Germany international fulfil his manager’s lofty expectations of him, but he also confirmed the view of many that he is the world’s premier playmaker.
Ozil made the sort of start to the season that spoke of a man with a point to prove - and the superlatives were soon flowing as quickly as the goals the 27-year-old was laying on for his team-mates.
Thierry Henry described him as “an amazing player”, Theo Walcott praised his ability to “make football look easy” and Bayern Munich forward Thomas Muller said the “outstanding” Ozil “fits perfectly to Arsenal’s game”.
As the Gunners racked up the wins, their talismanic playmaker was at the heart of everything - claiming three successive Player of the Month awards and breaking a Premier League record with assists in seven consecutive games.
Few will forget his performance in the 3-0 defeat of Manchester United in early October, nor his outstanding contribution during a golden period that took in victories against Bayern Munich, Everton and Swansea City as the Gunners moved to the top of the table.
“He has grown into a great player as he has added commitment, leadership qualities and responsibility - I’m very pleased with his development,” Wenger said at the time.
Ozil was at it again in December, claiming two more assists as the Gunners beat Manchester City to start 2016 on top of the pile - and while things did not go to plan thereafter, the 27-year-old remained a constant threat.
While the assists may have dried up somewhat, it was not necessarily due to a tangible drop in form. In fact, his 10 chances created in the 0-0 draw with Southampton is a Premier League record for a single game.
The World Cup winner would go on to create a mammoth 181 scoring opportunities for his team-mates during 2015/16 - yet another record - ending with 20 assists in all competitions and narrowly missing out on the PFA Player of the Year award.
His consistent excellence certainly did not go unnoticed in N5, where he is rightfully recognised as an unrivalled talent and as the lithe, languid conductor of Arsenal’s orchestra.
Mesut Ozil is your clear choice as Player of the Season - and what an unforgettable season he has had.
- Mesut created 10 chances against Southampton, more than any player in a single game
WHAT THEY SAID:
“When he fulfils his potential, he has 20-plus assists in him and has even got the ability of scoring 10-plus goals. When he can be difference between 30-plus points, it is vital for the team.”
“I don’t know how he gets into space because on the pitch you think someone will get close to him but he always seems to have time and space. That is something I have been watching him do, because he is always aware of what is around him. I have learnt a lot from him.”
“The best thing that I like about Mesut is that he’s not forcing the final passes. We all know he has a great final ball but you can see that he only plays it when the game gives him that opportunity. If it’s not there then he’s not forcing it and he’s combining with other team-mates instead. That’s the thing I like most about him.”
MESUT'S FINEST MOMENTS
Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United
October 4, 2015
Seen as the first major examination of their credentials, Arsenal came flying out of the blocks against Manchester United and blew them away in an unforgettable 20-minute spell at the start of the game. Alexis may have scored twice, but Ozil was the orchestrator as he laid on the first for the Chilean, before slotting home the second. The World Cup winner was a constant thorn in the side of the visitors, driving his side to an exhilarating win.
Arsenal 2-0 Bayern Munich
October 20, 2015
With Arsenal on the point of elimination in the Champions League group stage, Bayern Munich arrived in north London with many expecting them to deliver the final blow. The Gunners needed their biggest stars to stand up, and stand up they did - with Ozil at the heart of a disciplined, hard-working performance. The German created three chances for his team-amtes and, after Olivier Giroud scored the opener, he added the second in injury time to seal a vital victory.Copyright 2016 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source