Arsenal: Top 5 contenders for Player of the Season award

Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)
Arsenal, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images) /
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2. Bernd Leno and Emiliano Martinez

Bernd Leno was nominated for the official Player of the Season award, but I just cannot leave Emi hanging. This is partially an emotional pick, but also an homage to what really felt like two different seasons. Just as Leno was the hero of the pre-restart Gunners, Emiliano Martinez was just as much their savior after football resumed.

They both have their strengths—Leno is a far more acrobatic, and is incredibly skilled with his feet, both in terms of shot-stopping and distribution, more so than his Argentinian counterpart. But Martinez has a better command of his area and often handles the ball better. In addition, Leno is quicker to rush forwards, but Martinez is often stronger against low shots. They’re an evenly matched pair.

And both players truly made names for themselves this season. Leno had a promising but error-strewn first season and came into the 19/20 campaign looking to prove his worth. Similarly, Martinez cemented himself as our cup competition keeper almost by default, but seized an unfortunate opportunity with both hands, and brought the first-choice keeper question to the forefront.

I cannot award this prize to one without recognizing the other. It’s as simple as that. Two amazing keepers had amazing seasons, ensuring Arsenal didn’t fall to absolute pieces. I’m cutting the silver medal in half.

But without one man, this season could not be possible. Arsenal’s success this season rides on the shoulders of one man, and he needs no introduction.