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Vitality Player of Season - the winner..

It's time to unveil the Vitality Player of the Season for 2016/17, as voted for by you, the fans.

It should come as no surprise that, after an incredible campaign, Alexis is the overwhelming winner of our official online poll.

Arsenal.com reporter Max Jones gives his verdict on the 28-year-old.

Whether he was leading the line, cutting in from the left wing or playing off a central striker in our 3-4-3 formation, Alexis made sure he stole the show.

Fresh from retaining the Copa America with Chile, the forward brought his international form back to north London, claiming five goals and four assists in his first seven games of the season, including a late equaliser at Paris Saint-Germain.

Alexis’ scintillating early-season form had pundits queuing up to lavish praise on him but, after seeing the 28-year-old in training on a daily basis, his team-mates were not surprised by how well he had started the campaign.

“He’s a world-class striker who deserves everything he gets for the work he puts in every day,” said Kieran Gibbs. “I’m certain there’s only more to come from him.”

He was right. More crucial goals and assists would follow through Autumn, but it wasn’t until December that Alexis really came into his own.

Now leading the line after forging a clinical partnership with Mesut Ozil, the Chilean followed his two goals against Bournemouth with a stunning individual performance at West Ham United, which featured one of the finest hat-tricks scored in an Arsenal shirt.

Alexis would go on to either score or assist in all but two of our next 12 games and, while his strike against Bayern Munich wasn’t enough to help us progress in the Champions League, his extra-time winner against Manchester City at Wembley sent us on our way to an unprecedented 21st FA Cup final.

We can use all the superlatives in the world to describe his season, but Alexis’ stats speak for themselves. Ahead of our showdown with Chelsea, our No 7 has made 50 appearances this season. He only failed to register a goal or an assist in 18 of those games.

It’s been a truly unforgettable individual campaign for Alexis, and it’s no wonder why he was your clear choice as Player of the Season.

 

 

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WHAT THEY SAID:

“He’s a leader, we have loads of leaders in the dressing room but he’s the first one to get frustrated. Alexis is a true fighter, he’s got a great winning mentality and that’s why things are going so well for him.”Hector Bellerin

“He’s definitely one of those players who will tend to bring out the best in you because he’s very demanding on himself and on everyone. He’s one of the strongest ones that will voice his opinions at all times. He is one of those that keeps demanding and trying to bring the best out of you."Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain

“Alexis has a striker’s mentality which means he never gives up and fights until the end. That’s why I believe he is at that level.”Arsène Wenger

ALEXIS’ FINEST MOMENTS

West Ham United 1-5 Arsenal Premier LeagueDecember 3, 2016

As individual performances go, you’ll do well to find a more complete one than Alexis’ at the London Stadium. Having already set up Ozil for our opener, the 28-year-old ran riot during 15 second-half minutes to score a stunning hat-trick.

First he drilled home from a narrow angle after beating two defenders, then he found the net from the edge of the box, but this game will forever be remembered for Alexis’ third.

Racing through on goal in the 87th minute, our No 7 threw an outrageous dummy and then chipped over the onrushing Darren Randolph to seal three points in style.

Arsenal 2-1 BurnleyPremier LeagueJanuary 22, 2017

Reduced to 10 men after Granit Xhaka had been sent off for a lunge on Steven Defour, we were desperately holding on to our slender lead as the game entered seven minutes of injury time.

It looked as though we would be denied the victory when Francis Coquelin tripped Ashley Barnes and Andre Gray kept his cool to equalise from the spot.

But then Ben Mee caught Laurent Koscielny in the face with a high boot. Jon Moss awarded Arsenal the penalty and Alexis, showing incredible composure, sent a panenka down the middle from the spot to seal a precious victory with the final kick of the game.