EPL

Bale's love for Spurs will speed up return to fitness, claims Mourinho

By Sports Desk September 21, 2020

Jose Mourinho is convinced Gareth Bale will return to fitness following a knee injury ahead of schedule because of his desire and motivation for play for a club he loves.

Bale, 31, completed a sensational return to Tottenham from Real Madrid on a season-long loan on Saturday, having originally departed seven years ago for a then world-record fee.

Although he enjoyed great success – including winning four Champions League titles – in Madrid, he increasingly found himself on the periphery of the first team under Zinedine Zidane over the past few years.

A return to Spurs proved a welcome move for Bale, who developed into one of the Premier League's most devastating players prior to joining Madrid.

The winger sustained a knee injury on international duty earlier this month, meaning he will not be in action until October at the earliest, though Mourinho suspects Bale's extra motivation will lead to an earlier-than-expected return.

"I don't know when Gareth can be back," Mourinho said. "I only know the motivation is high because he is so happy to be with the club of his heart.

"He's so happy to play for us, and when a player has these motivations, many times you can shorten the period of recovering, getting fit and ready to play.

"We want to help him, so when he is available to train with the team, we are more than happy to have him and help him to be back to a level that may be one of the best players in the world."

Confirmation of Bale's move came shortly after that of Sergio Reguilon's transfer – the Spain left-back also arriving from Madrid, having impressed on loan at Europa League winners Sevilla in 2019-20.

Spurs are next in action against Leyton Orient in the EFL Cup on Tuesday, and while Mourinho thinks that will come too soon for Reguilon, he should be ready for the visit of Newcastle United on Sunday.

"I think he'll be quite quick [in terms of getting up to speed physically]," Mourinho said. "He's in the last period of his recovery and is training today with one of my assistants.

"He cannot play Tuesday but I would say that he will be available for us for the end of the week."

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