Tottenham Hotspur forward Gareth Bale has beaten off stiff competition from the likes of Manchester United striker Robin van Persie, Chelsea playmaker Juan Mata and Liverpool’s Luis Suarez to land the Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year Award.
The Welshman had already been recognised by his peers on Sunday evening as he was confirmed as the winner of both the PFA Player of the Year and PFA Young Player of the Year awards.
However, the latest accolade caps off a remarkable season in which the 23-year-old has fired 24 goals in all competitions for Tottenham as they seek a top-four finish in the Premier League.
Bale received an impressive 53% of the vote to grab the award from last year’s winner Van Persie, who was a close second, with Mata a long way back in third place.
And while he will be delighted at becoming the first Spurs player to claim the honour since David Ginola in 1999 – and the first Welshman since Neville Southall in 1985 – Bale’s work this term is far from done.
It is perhaps apt that in a week when his spectacular progress this term has been celebrated, Southampton are the next team in his sights.
His talent was nurtured at the Saints’ renowned youth academy before he made the move to White Hart Lane six years ago in a deal initially worth £5 million.
And would it be any surprise if he marked the visit of his former employers to north London with another crucial goal?
Bale is priced at 7/2 to grab the opener on Saturday, a price which would return £90 for new customers successfully backing it with their free £20 bet after registering.
In addition, he can be backed at 17/20 to notch at any time, 13/4 to score two or more and 27/2 to fire at least three past Artur Boruc in the Saints’ goal.
Whether he can carry Tottenham across the line in the race for the top four remains to be seen, but it would be a fitting end to a season in which he has announced himself as a consistently top-class performer.