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Arsenal can lay down a marker

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Gareth Bale nets FWA award

Tottenham boss says his star player will still be at club, whether they finish 4th in the Premier League or not.

Tottenham Hotspur forward Gareth Bale has been named the Football Writers' Association Footballer of the Year.

• AVB expects Bale stay

Last week, Bale, 23, won the Professional Footballers' Association Player of the Year award and the Young Player of the Year for the 2012-13 season.

And the Wales international's excellent season has been further rewarded by being voted the 2013 Footballer of the Year by the Football Writers' Association.

He acquired 53% of the votes, narrowly edging out Manchester United's Robin van Persie who received 43%, with Juan Mata coming third.

Bale, who has scored 24 goals in all competitions this season, said: "It is a huge honour to receive the Footballer of the Year award from the Football Writers' Association.

"It means a lot to win this award when you consider the number of players that have been outstanding for their clubs in the Barclays Premier League this season.

"I have been very fortunate to be playing in such a fantastic team and I owe a lot to my team-mates and, obviously, the manager who has shown such faith in me.

"This award has been won in the past by some of the greatest names in football and I consider it a privilege that the FWA has selected me to be named alongside them.''

Bale becomes Spurs' first winner of the FWA award since David Ginola in 1999, and the first Wales international to be selected for English football's oldest individual trophy since Everton's Neville Southall in 1985.

He is also the first player to win the FWA and both PFA awards since Cristiano Ronaldo in 2007.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

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