In one of few online polls that isn’t hijacked by Arsenal fans – because it’s only about Arsenal players – it is perhaps the most representative result online that saw Alexis Sanchez smash all other competitors in his own team to the Player of the Season award with two thirds (66%) of the voting.

Given that Coquelin received 10% of the vote and Santi had eight, sharing second and third respectively, it’s a unanimous victory for the Chilean in his debut season.

And what a season. When his signing was announced I, like many of you I’m sure, was excited about what he would be able to achieve at Arsenal. But at the same time, my lust for him to be successful was tempered by the fact that he’d come from a different league, spoke a different language and would need time to adapt. Arsène had spent big, but as Andrey Schevchenko, Fernando Torres at Chelski and Andy Carroll at Liverpool had shown, big price tags don’t always equate to big success in this country.

Dennis Bergkamp needed his first half season to adapt and Didier Drogba was pretty bang average for at least 12 months I seem to recall. So whilst I was excited to see more of our star summer attraction, I knew my excitement needed to be contained and I needed to be patient.

Except I didn’t really. Alexis scored in the Champions League qualifier against Besiktas and never looked back, bagging 25 goals from a variety of different positions across the Arsenal front three. He scored tap ins through his positioning, like at Southampton, as well as thunderbolts from outside of the box like Liverpool and the cup final. 

But whilst all of those goals have shown him to be the world class player he is, it isn’t just his finishing that makes him the world beater we know and love, because he delivers so much more than that. His engine is simply astounding. He is perpetual motion personified and coupled with such raw pace that it frightens the lives of defenders, he has been an absolute headache to contain.

You don’t know which way he’s going to go at times. Sometimes I don’t think he does either. I think he acts on instinct. If you listen to some of the players talk about him, he has an effervescence for football that means he never wants to stop. He wants to keep learning, keep getting better and keep proving himself, with a hunger that I’m sure is rubbing off on his teammates. I think Theo has even admitted that what Alexis does makes other players want to emulate it in terms of their effort and application.

He’s not flawless by any stretch of the imagination. He has had the dreaded ‘barren spell’ that every striker goes through, but far from become any shrinking violet, he continued to give everything and when the goals dried up for him halfway through the season, he still contributed to play through assists and other important build ups to goals that were scored by other players.

For the life of me I can’t work out why Barcelona offloaded him for Luis Suarez. Suarez is a brilliant footballer and has also scored plenty of goals this season, but based on what I’ve seen this season, I can’t see why Alexis wouldn’t have matched Suarez’s output at all. They are so similar you see; both have pace, take a lot of shots, concede a lot of possession (because that’s part of their game and when their output is so much during the course of a season, you sort of accept that) and are constantly on the move. The only difference I can see is that one is purchased at around £60million and the other was done at nearly half the price. Quite baffling indeed.

But we’ll take it. By Jove we’ll take it. We’ll take it because in the space of a year we have found a player who adds 25 goals to an already pretty decent forward line. We’ll take it because in the space of a year we’ve become so much more pacey in our attack with the help of Alexis. And we’ll take it because with a player like that in your ranks you are a contender for the top competitions. 

Arsenal have been labelled in the recent past as a team without many leaders or winners. The signing of Alexis bought both. His drive and determination leads him to become a winner, but it also shows – as Theo has said – that he is leading by examples. I chuckle when I hear comments from click-whoring sites or listener-desperate radio stations, that Arsenal don’t have ‘leaders’ because there isn’t enough ‘John Terry’s’ in the team, chest thumping types. When you have more players like Alexis in your ranks, you lead by example and that for me is far more important than somebody who shouts a lot. We have that in Flamini. He doesn’t. Make the team. 

What is also mouthwatering is that this is only the beginning. This is only the start of Alexis’ Arsenal journey and this was supposed to be the ‘bedding in’ season. If this is Alexis ‘bedding in’, I’d love to see what we’ll get from a fully integrated Alexis. Next season will be a challenge – of that I have no doubt – because defenders will target him and not want to afford him any time at all. But I don’t think that will matter, because his style is one that even if he isn’t afforded time inside the box or out, he’ll keep on going and be a nuisance for defenders even if he isn’t scoring.

I don’t know if you have played 5-a-side, dear reader, but if you have you might have come up against somebody like Alexis before? I have. They are a nightmare. Constantly on the move, they never stand still and whilst your intentions to man mark them might be good for the first five minutes, eventually your brain or body can’t sustain it and so they find space. Then it’s just a case of how good their finishing is. In amateur 5-a-side football it’s not always great, but Alexis has shown that his finishing is, so I think we’ll see more of the same from him for years to come. 

Which is a-ok by me.