'The odds-on favourite for Player of the Year at this rate' - Goal.com's World Player of the Week Gareth Bale

World Player of the Week
Gareth Bale
AGE 23
POSITION Midfielder
FOR Tottenham
West Ham United
2-3 Tottenham
2-1 Arsenal

Gareth Bale further cemented his status as the Premier League's hottest property as he inspired Tottenham to two potentially decisive wins this week, earning him the latest World Player of the Week gong.

Last Monday evening, the Wales star fired his side into the lead at Upton Park before West Ham turned the game on its head in the second half. With the scores locked at 2-2 and Spurs fans looking anxiously ahead to the north London derby with Arsenal, Bale picked himself up off the turf and launched an unstoppable drive into the top corner to seal a dramatic win and maintain the four-point gap to the Gunners.

On Sunday, Bale lived up to his billing as the star of the show when he opened the scores with a coolly-taken finish in the first half and, although he was not quite at his sparkling best, he was an integral part of a Spurs outfit which battled their way to both a 2-1 win and third place in the table - seven points clear of Arsene Wenger's side.

With Bale's stock in the European game increasing with every ball he kicks, there are many who believe Champions League qualification is the only way in which Andre Villas-Boas can hope to fend off interest from abroad; ironically, with his sensational form showing little sign of abating, the 23-year-old is proving to be the main man to make that happen.

Goal.com UK's Oli Platt summed up a remarkable seven days in the Welshman's incredible season:

"Gareth Bale enjoyed highs as both an individual and a member of an in-form Tottenham side in a remarkable week for the Welshman and Andre Villas-Boas. Bale was simply brilliant on Monday night against West Ham, scoring two goals - the first impressive, the second truly outstanding - in a match Spurs might very easily otherwise have lost.

"That set him and his team up nicely for Sunday's north London derby against Arsenal, which proved much less of a one-man show. Bale got himself on the scoresheet again to take his Premier League tally to 16 for the season and make the claims of a power-shift between the two rivals even more credible.

"There is no doubting the confidence Bale has instilled in the team around him and despite the continued brilliance of Luis Suarez and Robin van Persie, most bookmakers see him as the odds-on favourite to take the PFA Player of the Year award. If he does claim the gong, he would join Cristiano Ronaldo, Thierry Henry and Alan Shearer in winning the award more than once in the Premier League era. Not bad for a 23-year-old. 

Congratulations to Gareth Bale, Goal.com's 198th World Player of the Week winner!

The Shortlist

Bernard - Atletico Mineiro

@eaamaylon: "Another game, another brilliant link-up with Ronaldinho."

Goal.com's Rupert Fryer: "Brazil's breakthrough star last season has truly announced himself on the continent."

Jurgen Locadia - PSV

@MeganNicole_NL: "Remember the name. What. A. Player."

Goal.com's Stefan Coerts: "Very few are as clinical as him in front of goal. A rising star in Dutch football."

Cristiano Ronaldo - R. Madrid

Tg Majid Abdi Majoody: "The super hero of the Clasico." 

Goal.com's Miles Chambers: "Two goals to stun Camp Nou and issue a warning to the waiting Old Trafford fans."

Francesco Totti - Roma

@JulianDM11: "By staying at Roma, Totti gave up trophies but gained a legacy."

Goal.com's Joe Wright: "Arguably the greatest player in Serie A history who has yet to hang up his boots."