Jamie Redknapp this week stated Gareth Bale was Tottenham's Robin van Persie; not in the respect of playing styles, but the impact and standout quality they possess in their team.
Forgetting the worrying scenario for Spurs fans of Bale moving on like Van Persie did; the Dutchman ended the season not only helping his side qualify for the Champions League, but winning a personal double in both the PFA Player of the Season and the Football Writers Player of the Year.
Now the question is whether Bale can do the same?
First off, let's consider Bale's current form: Not only is he the club's top scorer with 13 goals. Sensationally, seven of those have come in his last seven games; eight in eight when you consider his friendly goal for Wales last week.
Secondly, his competitors; Who are the standout players who could stand in his way?
It appears there are two; Chelsea's Juan Mata, who is the model of consistency, and Robin van Persie, whose goalscoring exploits are showing no signs of abating with his move to Manchester United.
Mata has 10 Premier League goals in 20 starts, plus nine assists. He is Chelsea's star performer and has outshone £32 million man Eden Hazard. Van Persie has 19 goals in 24 Premier League starts; it's not the intention to compare his goal ratio with Bale's or Mata's as he is a striker, but merely to illuminate how good the Dutchman has been.
It could go one of three ways, so two further aspects should be considered.
Are there any drawbacks to Bale's season? Being selective, you can point to his assists. Bale has provided just one Premier League assist compared to Mata's nine. Bale has two in the Europa League, which is still bettered by Mata's three in the Champions League.
However perhaps this is the most poignant point; is Bale hitting his form at the right time? Neither Mata or Van Persie can match Bale's recent form of eight goals in his last eight appearances.
The PFA have their ballot in early March, this has been criticised repeatedly in the past, with Robbie Savage one to say votes should be cast in May at the end of the season, but it remains unchanged.
Bale's sensational form puts him in the forefront of his fellow professional's minds, and could give him the edge.
If he keeps up his excellent form, in the Europa League this week, and then later this month away to West Ham and in the North London Derby against Arsenal - He has every chance of landing the PFA trophy, which usually dictates which way the Football Writers one goes too.
Would it be deserved if Bale won player of the year?
image: © andybrannan