Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez has been named in the PFA Player of the Year shortlist for his form for the Gunners in 2016/17. The Chilean international has been Arsenal’s most influential player in all competitions, top scoring on all four fronts, but is an outsider to win the award given the outstanding performers at title-chasing Chelsea and Tottenham earning deserved recognition.
2016/17 PFA Player of the Year nominees
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
Eden Hazard (Chelsea)
Zlatan Ibrahimovic (Manchester United)
Romelu Lukaku (Everton)
Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur)
Alexis Sanchez (Arsenal)
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was full of praise for Sanchez, however, saying: “I’m very happy because it rewards a very strong season if you look at his numbers. His goalscoring record is good, his assists are good and I believe that the combination of goalscoring and assists always [showcases] the quality of a player.
“He’s been clinical because he played at centre forward for a while and also because he has a short backlift, a good quality of reception, a good first touch and the focus needed to score. That means that he plays with a kind of aggressive attitude in the box which allows him to score.
“He likes to touch the ball, so I would say he is more attracted to a wide position. He basically prefers to play wide rather than up front because he can get the ball more. He has to keep that balance between providing and goalscoring because he has both in the locker.”
Sanchez has scored and created 27 goals in 30 Premier League games this season. The 28-year-old has created 71 chances and made 86 successful dribbles. He’s played as a centre-forward for the majority of the campaign which has seen him much more of a goal threat, but the South American attacker has struggled for league goals in recent weeks after moving back out wide.
Arsenal have looked to him for goals this season and haven’t had much in the way of a plan B in his absence. Olivier Giroud has scored many goals from the bench but Sanchez has been both a scorer and creator in the final third. Sanchez has stiff competition for the Player of the Year award given the likes of Kante and Hazard are leading Chelsea to the Premier League title, but he’s still be the Gunners’ standout performer despite the side’s struggles.
Alexis Sanchez is 40/1 to win the PFA Player of the Year award this season. But who will be picking up the honour?