Player of the Season: in second place...

This week we'll announce the Vitality Player of the Season - as voted for by the fans.

In second place is Alexis Sanchez. The Chile international produced some outstanding displays in 2015/16, scoring 17 times in all competitions. reporter Nik Brumsack gives his verdict on the 27-year-old.

Player of the Season last year, second this time around - Alexis’ all-action performances continued to get Arsenal fans out of their seats this term.

By his own high standards, the campaign actually started quite slowly for the forward after a busy summer, playing a key role in helping Chile lift the Copa America for the first time.

Those efforts with La Roja looked to have taken their toll, and he went eight games without a goal at the start of the new season - his longest spell in an Arsenal shirt.

But after sweeping home Hector Bellerin’s cross at Leicester in mid-September, Alexis came to the fore in spectacular fashion. He would end up scoring his first Arsenal hat-trick at the home of the eventual champions - kickstarting a run of 10 goals in six matches for club and country, with a goal-of-the-season contender against Manchester United among them.

A superlative performance against Dinamo Zagreb helped secure the Gunners’ progression to the last-16 of the Champions League, but Alexis’ season was curtailed for two months after he suffering a hamstring injury at Norwich five days later.


Alexis Sanchez

Alexis scores against Manchester United


He picked a crucial time to score for the first time after regaining fitness - a late leveller in a 2-2 draw at White Hart Lane - and ended the season in fine fettle, with six goals in his final eight appearances.

By that point, dreams of the title were fading, but Alexis’ efforts in April and May earned Arsène Wenger’s side five points, helping to a second-placed Premier League finish as they leapfrogged Tottenham on the final day.

Alexis' key stats



Alexis was Arsenal's second-top goalscorer in 2015/16


“He is one of these players where his energy and the intensity of his energy level hits you straight in the face.”
Arsène Wenger

“The manager sometimes says to me, 'Have a rest' but I don't want to rest. I'd rather go home and do a bit of gym and exercise in my house to maintain my form. I think [my passion] started in Tocopilla because I always used to play with older people. I always wanted to be a footballer, I always wanted to play. I was born to be a footballer and, God willing, I will be able to continue doing that.”

“The one thing I would say about Alexis is that he’s one of the most passionate and hungry individuals I know. As a player, he brings out the best of you in training every day and also in the matches. If he knows when he’s not at his best, which is rare, he’ll always push himself to do as well as he can and he demands a lot of himself."
Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain


Leicester City 2-5 Arsenal
Premier League
September 26, 2015
This superb hat-trick was the beginning of a run in which Alexis scored seven times in four appearances. After Theo Walcott drew the Gunners level in an open game at King Power Stadium, Alexis tucked home from close range soon after for his goal first of the season. He added his second after the break - displaying bravery and timing to beat Kasper Schmeichel to head home Mesut Ozil’s lofted pass - and completed his first treble for the club with an unstoppable strike into the bottom corner from 25 yards. He would go on to net four more times in his next three games, including a brace during a 20-minute blitz against Manchester United. None of these performances, however, were as complete or clinical as his Leicester masterclass.

Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Arsenal
Premier League
March 5, 2016
Arsenal were very much up against it in the final north London derby of the season. Despite Aaron Ramsey giving the Gunners a first-half lead with a clever flick, Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane’s quickfire goals after the break, coupled with Francis Coquelin’s sending off, ensured the hosts held the momentum going into the final 15 minutes. Step forward Alexis. The Chile forward raced on to Hector Bellerin’s through ball and clinically sent his low strike beyond Hugo Lloris to end his run of five months without a Premier League goal and ensure a point - which would separate the teams at the end of 2015/16.

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