Jose Mourinho was quizzed on the fitness and motivation of Gareth Bale in the press conference following Spurs emphatic comeback win against Southampton.
Spurs played second-fiddle for most of the first-half, but grabbed a vital equaliser right before halftime. The north London outfit then punished Southampton’s high line in the second period, winning 5-2.
Mourinho was unable to offer an update on when Bale would be back to full fitness, with Spurs confirming the superstar’s return from Real Madrid on a season-long loan back on Friday.
Mourinho did admit that the Welshman is highly-motivated after sealing a return to the Premier League, adding that the ace is ‘happy’ after a terrible past few years with Los Blancos.
Speaking at his press conference, the Portuguese tactician also made the rather bold claim that he felt the club could get Bale back to being one of the best players in the world.
Can Gareth Bale become one of the best in the world again? Jose Mourinho has had his say… pic.twitter.com/akfMq45G8Q
— CaughtOffside (@caughtoffside) September 21, 2020
This seems ambitious given the player’s age and recent fitness record, as well as his lack of involvement for some time now at Real Madrid.
“I don’t know when Gareth can be back, the only thing that I know is that the motivation is high, he’s so happy to be with the club of his heart and so happy to play for us,” Mourinho said.
“When the player has these motivations, many many times you can shorten the period of recovering and getting fit to play.
“We want to help him, so when he’s available to train with the team, we’re more than happy to have him and to help him to be back to a level that made him one of the best players in the world.”
Bale started 14 of his 20 appearances for the La Liga champions last season, scoring three times and contributing two assists.
The 31-year-old winger made only two appearances after the restart after another falling out with Zinedine Zidane.
Bale has been a crucial part of Madrid’s success over the last few years, but the wide man has been treated harshly by the Spanish media and club’s fans after an injury-ridden time at the Bernabeu.