Player of the Year awards

Bale and Nasri eye PFA double

April 8, 2011
By ESPNsoccernet staff

Tottenham Hotspur winger Gareth Bale and Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri have both been nominated for the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) Player of the Year and Young Player of the Year awards.

Samir Nasri and Gareth Bale
GettyImagesSamir Nasri, 23, and Gareth Bale, 21, have been nominated for both PFA awards

The PFA announced on Friday that the duo were among seven nominees from the Premier League for each of their annual awards. Andy Gray (1977) and Cristiano Ronaldo (2007) are the only players to previously win both awards in the same year.

However, the pair are likely to face stiff competition in both categories as the contest is generally perceived to be wide open.

Bale's Spurs team-mate Rafael Van der Vaart is also in contention for the main prize after an impressive debut season in England helped Spurs reach the quarter-finals of the Champions League and stay in the hunt for fourth place in the Premier League.

Manchester City's Carlos Tevez is the only striker to be nominated for Player of the Year, having scored 19 goals so far this season, and is joined by Blackpool's Charlie Adam, who has been recognised for his influential role with Blackpool in their debut season in the top flight.

Manchester United defender Nemanja Vidic is nominated after leading his side to the top of the Premier League in his first season as captain and West Ham midfielder Scott Parker, who has recently returned to the England fold, makes the list following some inspirational performances in the fight against relegation.

England and Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart, Arsenal starlet Jack Wilshere, Everton's Seamus Coleman and Manchester United pair Nani and Javier Hernandez are the other contenders for the Young Player gong.

Last year Wayne Rooney, who was nominated in both categories, scooped the Player of the Year award while James Milner was Young Player of the Year.

PFA chief executive Gordon Taylor believes this year's lists are reflective of an exciting season in which all candidates have been closely matched.

Taylor said: "It is certainly very competitive. There has been no outstanding favourite so it will be very interesting to see who people think are favourites.

"Last year Wayne Rooney had an exceptional season. This year there are some very good contenders and it is nice to see some home-grown players in there as well. That is encouraging.''