Arsenal star Alexis Sanchez is the people's player of the year
Chilean winger claims PFA fans' award and also wins Facebook crown after first season at Arsenal
Alexis Sanchez has been rewarded for an outstanding debut season in the Premier League by scooping the PFA Fans' Player of the Season award.
The Arsenal striker enjoyed a dream start to his career in England after his £35m move from Barcelona to the Emirates last summer. He scored 24 goals in 51 appearances, including 16 in the Premier League as the Gunners finished the season in third.
But it's not just his goals that won over the fans. Sanchez's eight Premier League assists were indicative of his tireless and selfless displays, and the Chilean has become a favourite with the Arsenal faithful, who'll be hoping he ends the season on a high by finding the net in Saturday's FA Cup Final against Aston Villa.
Sanchez scored twice against Reading in April's semi-final and the 26-year-old will spearhead the Arsenal attack once more at Wembley on Saturday.
Sanchez was one of ten players nominated for the PFA Fans' award with many predicting the award would be won by Chelsea's Eden Hazard, who was crowned PFA Player of the Year last month.
But in a public poll that received over 200,000 votes, the Arsenal star saw off Hazard, Sergio Aguero of Manchester City, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and six other nominees to take the title.
A few hours later Sanchez doubled up when he was named the inaugural winner of the Facebook Footballer of the Year in an online poll that received more than one million votes worldwide.
The news will cheer Arsene Wenger (who was named Facebook Manager of the Year), although the Arsenal manager has admitted he wishes Sanchez was spending his summer on the beach after a gruelling 12 months of football. Having led Chile's attack during last year's World Cup, Sanchez joined Arsenal and notched up a half-century of games. But once Saturday's FA Cup Final is over, he'll be returning to South America to play for his country in the Copa America, which runs until 4 July.
With the 2015-16 Premier League starting on 8 August this year, Sanchez will have little opportunity to recharge his batteries before the start of another punishing campaign.
"I feel this competition is a bit too much," said Wenger. "I will watch it, but with a little bit of fear because Sanchez has played 50 games for us and goes there again, having already played in the World Cup last summer... it is disappointing that they speak a lot about the health of the players, but when you look at the competition that is organised, this Copa America, and look at the date of the start of the Premier League, it is not reasonable."