Bale doubles up on PFA awards

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Tottenham's Gareth Bale has won the PFA's player of the year and young player of the year awards. The Welshman becomes only the third player to claim both awards in the same season. It was the second time that Bale has won the PFA award and underlines his status as one of the most coveted players in Europe.

This season has seen Bale add regular goalscoring to his list of attributes, registering 19 goals for his club, including a golden streak of scoring since January. For Tottenham the crucial task in the summer will be persuading Bale to remain part of manager Andre Villas-Boas's project at White Hart Lane.

"It's a massive honour," Bale said of the awards. "To be voted by your peers is one of the biggest things in the game. It's great to win it and I am delighted. I couldn't have done it without the team. They have been fantastic this year and so has the manager."

There is still some debate about Bale's best position. He has played as a defender, a wing-back, a wide attacker and as a central striker, although he seems to have developed into a potent goalscorer recently. "I have been shooting a lot more," he said, "and I have been coming inside a lot more too. I have a few less assists this year but I am in more scoring positions these days and that has obviously helped my scoring tally this season."

PFA chairman Gordon Taylor pointed out that the award reflected Bale's character as well as his talent. He made the contrast with another nominee, Luis Suarez. "Everyone knows Suarez is a great footballer," Taylor said. "I just wish at times he could fall into line because footballers are role models and Gareth and Robin Van Persie are really good examples of the younger generation."

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