Alexandre Lacazette has won Arsenal’s Player of the Year award, winning 35 per cent of the votes cast by the London club’s supporters.
The Gunners announced the French striker’s triumph on Friday morning, the day after he scored two goals in their 3-1 Europa League semi-final first leg victory over Valencia.
It brought his total on the season to 18 in all competitions, to go along with nine assists for Unai Emery’s squad this term.
His goals and assists in big games have enabled Arsenal to maintain a top-four challenge in the Premier League as well as competing for the Europe League title and the club’s announcement paid tribute to the vital nature of the striker’s contributions this year.
“If the mark of an elite forward is to make the difference when their team needs it most, then take a quick glance at Laca’s campaign,” the statement reads .
“Goals against Liverpool, Tottenham, Chelsea and Valencia only tell half the story, as do his assists against Manchester United both home and away.
“For while they underline Laca’s status as a big-game player, it is perhaps more telling to look at when the majority of his 18 goals have been scored to understand just how important he has been.
“Of his 18 goals this season, 11 have given us the lead in the match – and we’ve gone on to win 10 of those matches. The outlier was the 1-1 draw with Liverpool at the Emirates in November when his tenacity, composure and clinical finishing sealed a very hard-earned point.”
The club also hailed the 27-year-old’s other contributions, and his ability to enjoy the game, despite its high-pressure nature.
“It is also down to the force of his personality, his ability to lift the team and the crowd with a simple chase back to win the ball, lung-busting run at goal or threading of an eye-of-the-needle pass. Or the fact that he simply appears to be having so much fun, whether that’s in shooting practice on the training ground or doing an UnClassic commentary with [Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang].
“Football may be a serious business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. And Laca has fun, lots of it – but he remains a serious talent, and a deserved winner of our Player of the Season for 2018-19.”
Arsenal host Brighton and visit Burnley in their final two Premier League games of the season as they try to close the two point gap to rivals Chelsea for fourth place.
However, they can still qualify for the Champions League with a Europa League crown, and will play the second leg in Spain next Thursday, with a possible final against Chelsea or Eintracht Frankfurt to take place May 29 in Baku.
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