Voted for by journalists based in Asia and Europe and presented by Chinese sports newspaper Titan Sports, the award recognises the best performances by an Asian player in a calendar year.
‘Sonny’ enjoyed a memorable 2017. The first Asian player to be named Premier League EA SPORTS Player of the Month (September, 2016), he made it two in a season in April, 2017 with five goals in four matches.
He scored his first hat-trick for Spurs in the 6-0 win against Millwall in the FA Cup in March and ended the campaign with 21 goals in 47 matches as our 2016-17 team became the first in the Club’s history to have three players score 20-plus goals (Harry Kane 35, Dele 22) in a season.
In the Champions League, Sonny scored in our 3-1 win against Borussia Dortmund at Wembley in September and then a late winner against the Germans at Signal Iduna Park in November.
In the same month, Sonny’s strike against Palace saw him become the highest-scoring Asian player in Premier League history – that was his 20th goal to overtake his idol, Park Ji-Sung, who notched up 19 for Manchester United. Sonny is now on 30.
He scored some decisive goals during the following few weeks, including a run of four in as many games in December, 2017, picking up the Asian Football Confederation International Player of the Year award for a second time - having first won it in 2015 - and named Top South Korean Male Footballer of 2017 at the Korea Football Association awards.
Sonny, who also took the award in 2014 and 2015, said: “Winning an award is always a fantastic feeling - when I saw the trophy again it made me smile again!
“I try my best in every single training session, every week and every single game. That’s the main thing. I’m a really lucky guy because I have such good team-mates.”