Icons that have won our men's Player of the Season

Dennis Bergkamp with the Arsenal Player of the Year trophy

Voting is now open for our 2023/24 men’s Player of the Season, and whoever our supporters select as their standout performer will add their name to an illustrious roll of honour.

Since Frank McLintock won our inaugural award in 1967, it has been presented annually since. Over 56 seasons, 41 different players have been recognised, with 11 of those doing so on more than one occasion - Bukayo Saka became the latest to land a double swoop after he came out on top of the vote in the 2020/21 and 2021/22 campaigns.

However, you have to cast your mind back to the 1970s when John Radford became the first two-time winner. He picked up the second edition in 1968 and won it again five years later for his 19-goal haul during 1972/73. His teammate Liam Brady became the first Republic of Ireland player to gain the achievement the following season and become our first three-time recipient, sharing it with compatriot Frank Stapleton over the next five years.

Liam Brady with the Arsenal Player of the Season trophy

The pair led us to three FA Cup finals during that spell as we lifted the trophy for the fifth time in our history in 1979. However after that period of domination from players from the Emerald Isle, over the next 16 seasons, then-club-record signing Charlie Nicholas was the only non-English winner in 1984.

David Rocastle, Michael Thomas, Steve Bould and David Seaman were among the victors during a mightily successful period for the club between 1986 and 1996. Tony Adams won his first of three Player of the Season awards after his starring role in our 1987 League Cup success, while Alan Smith was the First Division’s top scorer with 25 goals in the season we snatched the title in dramatic circumstances at Anfield, which earned him the honour in 1989. 

Tony Adams with the Arsenal Player of the Season trophy

Ian Wright became the second player in our history to win it back-to-back in 1992 and 1993, with his prominent role in our FA Cup and League Cup double in the latter seeing him emulate Brady’s achievement of 1978 and 1979. The award would return to the skipper, Adams, the following year, who became the second person to claim a hat-trick of triumphs. 

1996 saw the arrival of Arsene Wenger and sparked the rise of Dennis Bergkamp in red and white, with the Dutchman earning the accolade at the end of 1996/97. Ray Parlour reaped the benefits of the Frenchman’s first full season in charge as we claimed the Double the following season, and the Romford Pele was named our best player that year as a key component of Wenger’s team.

The new millennium saw the start of a new era when Thierry Henry was recognised for his on-pitch excellence in 2000. Thierry bagged 26 goals in his debut season with us which would be a sign of things to come, as he would become one of our greatest-ever players and pick up the Player of the Year award more than anybody else - four times. 

Thierry Henry with the Arsenal Player of the Season trophy

French duo Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires were also honoured during the period Thierry dominated between 2000-2005, and Jens Lehmann became the fourth goalkeeper to win it in our last season at Highbury in 2005/06.

We embarked on an exciting new journey when we made the short move to Emirates Stadium in 2006/07, and it was Cesc Fabregas who first lit up our new home with his performances that earned him the award that season. He would win two awards during his time in north London, as did Robin van Persie as the pair shared it between 2009 and 2012, with the only exception being Jack Wilshere whose breakthrough season in 2010/11 got the recognition it deserved. 

A standout year from Aaron Ramsey saw him claim the prize in 2014 after what was a hugely memorable season for the Welshman. Aaron led us to our 11th FA Cup title with his extra-time winner against Hull City to cap off a season-best 16 goals, and he would again be the recipient in 2017/18. The 2014/15 and 2016/17 seasons also saw us lift the FA Cup, and in both of those seasons Alexis Sanchez was handed the accolade after netting in both finals.

Martin Odegaard with his Player of the Season award

In recent years, strikers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were victorious before Bukayo Saka came to the fore following his first-team breakthrough. He won the title in two seasons a row, before being pipped to a third-straight honour by Martin Odegaard, who was successful last year.

Have your say on who should be our 2023/24 men's Player of the Season by casting your vote now!

Previous winners

1967 Frank McLintock
1968 John Radford
1969 Peter Simpson
1970 George Armstrong
1971 Bob Wilson
1972 Pat Rice
1973 John Radford
1974 Alan Ball
1975 Jimmy Rimmer
1976 Liam Brady
1977 Frank Stapleton
1978 Liam Brady
1979 Liam Brady
1980 Frank Stapleton
1981 Kenny Sansom
1982 John Hollins
1983 Tony Woodcock
1984 Charlie Nicholas
1985 Stewart Robson
1986 David Rocastle
1987 Tony Adams
1988 Michael Thomas
1989 Alan Smith
1990 Tony Adams
1991 Steve Bould
1992 Ian Wright
1993 Ian Wright
1994 Tony Adams
1995 David Seaman
1996 Martin Keown
1997 Dennis Bergkamp
1998 Ray Parlour
1999 Nigel Winterburn
2000 Thierry Henry
2001 Patrick Vieira
2002 Robert Pires
2003 Thierry Henry
2004 Thierry Henry
2005 Thierry Henry
2006 Jens Lehmann
2007 Cesc Fabregas
2008 Mathieu Flamini
2009 Robin van Persie
2010 Cesc Fabregas
2011 Jack Wilshere
2012 Robin van Persie
2013 Santi Cazorla
2014 Aaron Ramsey
2015 Alexis Sanchez
2016 Mesut Ozil
2017 Alexis Sanchez
2018 Aaron Ramsey
2019 Alexandre Lacazette
2020 Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang
2021 Bukayo Saka
2022 Bukayo Saka
2023 Martin Odegaard
See Full List

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