Tottenham star Gareth Bale said he is still working his way back to full match fitness after struggling to make an impact in the Europa League victory over LASK.

Bale made his second full debut for Tottenham after leaving Spurs for Real Madrid in 2013 and the 31-year-old loanee played a role in the opening goal of Thursday's 3-0 win.

A second-half substitute against West Ham in the Premier League over the weekend, Bale forced an own goal in the 28th minute but the Welshman recorded an unwanted four-year first.

It was the first time Bale started a club match and not had either a shot or create chance for his team-mates since November 2016 for Madrid – his 78th start since then, per Opta.

"We know these games are important. We went out there and did a great job. It wasn't our best performance but we were solid and most important is the three points," Bale told BT Sport as he reflected on the Group J match and his performance.

"I am a bit stiff. It is like a mini pre-season for me and I am trying to get minutes into the legs.

"Hopefully it won't take me long to get back up to full speed and I am enjoying being on the pitch and being back at this amazing club."

Tottenham have won 11 of their last 12 home Europa League group-stage fixtures, drawing once.

Spurs have also scored 31 goals in all competitions this season – five more than any other Premier League side.

On being back at Tottenham, Bale – who struggled for game time at LaLiga giants Madrid in recent years – added: "It is amazing. It is a big reason why I play well and why I came back. You want to be loved and appreciated. I will give everything for this shirt.

"This is a great squad that has a lot of depth, hopefully we can use that to our advantage. It is always good to have competition to keep you on your toes."

Gareth Bale failed to take a shot or create a chance for a team-mate after starting a club match for the first time since November 2016 as Tottenham beat LASK 3-0.

The Wales forward had made his second Spurs debut from the bench during the 3-3 Premier League draw with West Ham last weekend, but was included from the off as the London club began their Europa League campaign on Thursday.

Bale forced Andres Andrade to put through his own net to make it 2-0 with less than half an hour gone.

However, the on-loan Real Madrid man's influence somewhat waned from there before he was taken off by Jose Mourinho around the hour mark.

Tottenham outclassed LASK as they cruised to a 3-0 home victory in their opening Europa League group stage match on Thursday.

Jose Mourinho's side took control early on as an Andres Andrade own goal was quickly followed by a Lucas Moura strike, with substitute Son Heung-min adding a third goal late on.

Spurs' starting line-up featured two eye-catching names, with recent signings Carlos Vinicius and Gareth Bale included.

But, while the first 10 minutes saw Bale evidencing his threat from a starting position on the right wing, they also featured a poor Vinicius miss, the striker heading wide on his full debut when he should have done better with a teasing Matt Doherty cross.

He did, though, waste little time in making up for that error, latching onto a Ben Davies ball over the top soon after to tee up compatriot Lucas for a composed finish.

Bale, too, had his moment before the half-hour mark, forcing Andrade to put through his own net with a low, outside-of-the-boot cross at the end of a sweeping move started by Sergio Reguilon's brilliant surge forward.

At that point it looked like Spurs might run away with it, but LASK rallied to enjoy a strong finish to the half, with Andreas Gruber coming closest to making it count courtesy of a fine drive from distance.

They were also not far away form reducing the deficit on the hour mark, Petar Filipovic's header from a corner sailing just over the bar with Joe Hart and his defenders beaten.

However, with the Austrians enjoying their best spell of the game, Mourinho was able to call for the cavalry in the form of Moussa Sissoko, Dele Alli and Son.

It was the latter pair who made the most telling difference, with Alli forcing a smart save after being played through by Vinicius after Son firing over the bar from close range.

Spurs never looked like rueing those misses, however, and had time to cap their win with a third goal courtesy of a side-footed Son from close range.

Another spectacular weekend in the Premier League always looked likely after Liverpool's thriller at Everton, and we weren't disappointed.

The champions lost Virgil van Dijk to injury and a winning goal to a Sadio Mane offside so marginal it seems VAR has now started dealing with measurements on the Planck scale.

Gareth Bale's return to action for Tottenham was warmly welcomed (mostly by jubilant West Ham fans) as a Jose Mourinho team once more produced a goal-fest, a sure sign that 2020 is truly losing its marbles.

Thankfully, we were also given a healthy dose of normality. Arsenal lost to Manchester City for the seventh time in a row, Jack Grealish was fouled so much you have to wonder if his tiny shin pads are shouting insults at every opponent, and Crystal Palace did their utmost to get a result against Brighton and Hove Albion without actually shooting.

Here are some of the more unusual takeaways from the past few days...

 

WHERE EAGLES (DON'T) DARE

Brighton out-shot Palace by 19 in Sunday's 1-1 draw at Selhurst Park, but it wasn't until the 90th minute through Alexis Mac Allister that they finally scored.

Palace had been leading 1-0 since the 19th minute, when Wilfried Zaha converted a penalty won by Michy Batshuayi. Remarkably, that was their only shot in the entire match; since Opta began collecting such data back in 2003-04, no other team has gone through a whole Premier League game in which their solitary attempt was from the spot.

Swansea City hold the Premier League record (at least since 2003-04) when it comes to the lowest number of shots for an entire season: they managed 339 in 2017-18. Palace, who have had 32 in their five games this term, might just have something to aim for – if aiming were their strong suit, anyway.

IT'S GUNNER CHANGE ONE DAY

Some degree of normality was restored at the Etihad Stadium, where Arsenal, who seem to love losing to Manchester City, lost to Manchester City.

Raheem Sterling's goal gave the hosts a seventh win in a row in the league over the Gunners, who last lost as many in succession against the same opponent at the hands of Ipswich Town between 1974 and 1977. If they lose the return fixture, they'll equal a club record of eight consecutive top-flight defeats to the same team, having last done so to Leeds United from 1972 to 1976.

The worst such run in England's top tier belongs to West Brom: they were beaten 15 times in a row by Chelsea from 1984 to 2011 before Gareth McAuley gave them a 1-0 win in March 2012.

 

JACK'S HACKS

Grealish might be struggling to win over England boss Gareth Southgate, but his opponents certainly seem to view him as a force to be reckoned with.

In Aston Villa's 1-0 win at Leicester City, Grealish won five fouls – nobody was fouled more often – to take his tally to 182 since the start of last season. Unsurprisingly, that's the highest number in the division.

According to Opta data, the most-fouled player in the Premier League since 2003-04 is former Bolton Wanderers striker Kevin Davies, who won 727 free-kicks. Grealish has some way to go before he can reckon with that figure, but at least he has double the number of England caps as Davies, who got one back in October 2010.

RED-FACED REDS

Conceding twice to Everton did more than sting Liverpool's local pride – it also took them to 13 goals conceded in five league games this season, the same number they let in after 15 matches in 2019-20. In fact, it's the most they have ever conceded in the first five league games of a season since shipping 13 back in 1953, when Winston Churchill was still prime minister of the United Kingdom.

If their average of 2.6 goals against per game continues, they will end the season having conceded at least 98 times. That would set a new club record in terms of their worst defensive displays across a campaign, surpassing the 97 goals they let in back in, you guessed it, 1953-54. How they would have hoped for better news on Virgil van Dijk's injury.

It could be worse, though: Manchester United conceded a quite spectacular 26 goals in the first five games of 1930-31, which remains a record in England's top flight. Churchill wasn't even in the government at the time.

 

UNBELIEVABALE

Spurs were cruising to a 3-0 victory when Bale came on against West Ham for his first appearance for the club in 2,707 days. What a moment for the fans watching at home.

Of course, it was the West Ham faithful who will have been jumping for joy in their living rooms by the end of the game, with Fabian Balbuena, a Davinson Sanchez own goal and an utterly magical hit from Manuel Lanzini snatching the most dramatic of 3-3 draws. Bale had earlier missed a great chance to make it 4-2, for good measure.

Still, welcoming back Bale after more than seven years will have been a special moment, although it doesn't quite match Wayne Rooney's Premier League record. His first appearance after rejoining Everton in 2017 came 4,837 days after his first in 2002, and he marked it by scoring the winner against Stoke City.

Gareth Bale's introduction from the bench was not a distraction for Tottenham in their shock collapse at home to West Ham, insists boss Jose Mourinho.

Spurs were cruising to three points in Sunday's Premier League encounter, with Son Heung-min's strike and Harry Kane's double opening up a 3-0 lead after 16 minutes.

But Fabian Balbuena struck and Davinson Sanchez's put through his own net before Manuel Lanzini's injury-time thunderbolt sealed a memorable turnaround from the Hammers.

Bale rejoined Spurs on loan from Real Madrid last month and was brought on as a 72nd-minute substitute, missing a golden opportunity when Spurs led 3-2.

However, Mourinho did not believe Bale entering the fray had any negative effect on his side.

"I don't think so, I honestly don't think so. The decision not to start him was I think a good decision," Mourinho said. 

"A decision to show that he doesn't have a beautiful chair waiting for him in the team and he sits there the first time he can. It was a message to the team that in this team everybody has to fight for positions.

"He's very well accepted in the group. Everyone likes him, and I believe he also likes what he found here. So everything is positive and the focus was not on him. The focus was on the game and he was on the bench for 65 minutes or so and I don't think so, I don't think at all.

"It's a pity that he couldn't score that fourth goal which was a beauty and would have killed the game. But that's football." 

Back in July, Mourinho said Spurs lacked mental strength following a 3-1 defeat to Sheffield United.

The Portuguese did not want to blame similar reasons on this occasion, citing the fact Spurs have made several additions to their team since then.

"I don't want to go there. We have new players. We played much better than last season. I can say the same about West Ham," he added.

"West Ham is a much better team than it was when [David] Moyes arrived. The team is in evolution, we play much better, we know how we want to play. 

"Defensively the team is much better than before, that's why I was saying before to look to our goals, the goals that we concede. It was only Danny Ings. After that, penalty Newcastle, penalty Man United, another penalty with Southampton.

"Today two free-kicks and an own goal. Defensively we're much stronger but in the last part of the game this happened and it's difficult to explain."

Tottenham fans got to see Gareth Bale don the famous shirt once more in Sunday's Premier League clash with West Ham.

The Wales star came off the bench at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium for his first appearance in England's top flight since May 2013, but it proved a frustrating outing.

From 3-0 up when Bale was introduced in the 72nd minute, Tottenham were pegged back as the game finished in a 3-3 draw.

The 31-year-old, who previously played for Spurs between 2007 and 2013, joined Jose Mourinho's side on loan from Real Madrid after winning four Champions Leagues with Los Blancos.

Bale had only 25 goal involvements (17 goals, eight assists) across his final two seasons with Madrid, having managed 61 (38 goals, 23 assists) in his last two campaigns with Tottenham.

Players returning to clubs where they enjoyed great success is nothing new, but are the second acts ever as good as those we witness first?

DIEGO MARADONA - BOCA JUNIORS

One of the world's greatest players, Maradona completed a dream transfer from Argentinos Juniors to Boca in 1981, going on to score 28 times in 40 league games for the club he supported as a boy. With the lure of Europe, a world-record transfer to Barcelona followed, but Maradona finished his career back in Argentina with Boca. However, by that point he was a shadow of his former self, scoring just seven times in 30 appearances from 1995 to 1997.

Key stat: Maradona played in 10 Primera Division seasons in his home country, though he would win just one piece of silverware - the 1981 Metropolitano - in his first stint at Boca.

ROBBIE FOWLER - LIVERPOOL

Known as 'God' at Anfield, Fowler was the homegrown hero who led the line for the Reds for much of the 1990s. He was sold to Leeds United in 2001, having had a difficult relationship with manager Gerard Houllier, who preferred Michael Owen and Emile Heskey in attack. After a spell at Manchester City, Fowler returned to Liverpool on a free in 2006, but the three league goals he scored in 2006-07 were all penalties.

Key stat: Fowler remains Liverpool's all-time leading scorer in the Premier League having netted 128 times in 266 games.

WAYNE ROONEY - EVERTON

Another talented Merseyside youngster, Rooney made a memorable breakthrough at Everton with a brilliant winner against Arsenal in 2002, though his relationship with fans of his boyhood club soured when he joined Manchester United, for whom he became the club's record scorer. Relations thawed over time and Rooney came 'home' for 2017-18 - but he was often deployed in a deeper midfield position in his second spell.

Key stat: Rooney scored 10 times in the Premier League during his second stint at Goodison Park - the only time he reached double figures for Everton in a league campaign.

KAKA - MILAN

The Brazilian enjoyed a fruitful six years at San Siro, winning the 2007 Ballon d'Or, a Serie A title and a Champions League while scoring 70 goals and providing 48 assists in 193 league games. Kaka never truly hit those heights again as a Real Madrid Galactico and returned to Milan for 2013-14, though he was unable to rediscover his magic.

Key stat: The forward averaged a goal involvement every 131 minutes in his initial spell with Milan, but that fell to 219 minutes second time around.

MARIO GOTZE - BORUSSIA DORTMUND

A product of BVB's youth academy, Gotze, like his team-mates Robert Lewandowski and Mats Hummels, was eventually lured to rivals Bayern Munich. The midfielder, who scored the winning goal for Germany in the 2014 World Cup final, struggled at times for form and fitness during three seasons with Bayern and that continued back at Dortmund, where he spent four more seasons before leaving earlier this year. Gotze has since joined Dutch giants PSV.

Key stat: Gotze scored 22 goals at a rate of one every 263 minutes in his first four-season spell with Dortmund. During his second stint, he scored 13 at a rate of one every 351 minutes.

ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC - MILAN

Of course it is the enigmatic Swede who proves things can be just as good second time around. Ibrahimovic enjoyed a brilliant two-season run at Milan between 2010 and 2012 - scoring 42 times and providing 17 assists in 61 Serie A games. Ibrahimovic returned to Milan in January and, in 20 Serie A games so far, he has scored 14 goals and assisted five more.

Key stat: Ibrahimovic's minutes-per-goal involvement stood at one every 91 minutes in his first Milan spell, and this time around on average he has played a part in a goal every 81.3 minutes.

After 2,709 days, Gareth Bale is a Premier League player again.

The Wales star came off the bench in Tottenham's clash with West Ham on Sunday for his first appearance since rejoining on loan from Real Madrid.

 

He replaced Steven Bergwijn in the 72nd minute, with Tottenham leading 3-0 at the time thanks to two early goals from Harry Kane and a first-minute strike from Son Heung-min.

Bale was straight into the action too, having a shot saved almost immediately after his introduction.

It was Bale's first game in England's top flight since May 19, 2013, when he helped Spurs to a 1-0 win over Sunderland at White Hart Lane.

He scored the only goal of that contest in the 89th minute as Spurs just missed out on a top-four spot, finishing a point behind Arsenal in the table.

The home side, then managed by Andre Villas-Boas, struggled against a Sunderland side who narrowly avoided relegation but Bale managed nine shots in the game – five of which were on target.

His goal, when it finally came, took him to 37 goal involvements in all competitions – only Robin van Persie (39) and Juan Mata (49) were involved in more for a Premier League club that season.

Bale then completed his £100million move to Real Madrid and went on to score 80 times in 171 appearances in LaLiga, his last goal coming against Villarreal on September 1, 2019.

Gareth Bale could make his first appearance since rejoining Tottenham after he was named on the bench for the Premier League fixture with West Ham.

The Welshman returned to his former club on loan from Real Madrid in late September but was unable to play immediately due to a knee injury.

Spurs always said the target was for Bale to feature after the international games in October, and that is set to be the case as they resume domestic duties following the break.

Jose Mourinho has included Bale among the substitutes for Sunday's game, along with another new recruit in Carlos Vinicius.

Bale scored 55 goals in 203 matches for Spurs during his first stint. He was twice named PFA Player of the Year, the second time coming after a 2012-13 campaign that saw him register 26 goals in 44 matches in all competitions.

The 31-year-old moved to Madrid and managed over a century of goals during his spell in Spain, helping the LaLiga club win the Champions League on four occasions.

However, he became a peripheral figure under Zinedine Zidane during their title-winning campaign in 2019-20, making just 20 appearances in all competitions.

Tottenham have lost just three of their last 27 home London derbies in the Premier League, while Mourinho has never suffered defeat in 12 previous meetings with Hammers boss David Moyes.

Gareth Bale will "probably" make his first appearance since returning to Tottenham when they face West Ham on Sunday.

Bale rejoined Spurs on a season-long loan in September, having left in 2013 for Real Madrid in a then world-record transfer.

A knee injury has so far kept Bale out of action and, though he gave a positive update on the forward's condition, manager Jose Mourinho would not definitively say if the Wales international will feature in the London derby.

"Of course he wants to play. He wanted to play since the day he arrived but wasn't possible," Mourinho told a media conference.

"I'm not going to tell you if he's going to play or not. What I will tell you is that he's working very well. He's working the way he probably hasn't been able to do for some time.

"The planning of the recent sessions had a big focus on him. His condition is good. Does he play Sunday or Thursday, we haven't made a decision yet.

"Every player is a very important player but the Gareth situation is very special because of his history. We care about him as much as he does for Tottenham.

"It's a physical thing. He didn't have any pre-season and even in the period after the lockdown, he didn't participate in much with Real Madrid, then he plays a couple of matches with Wales, had an injury there.

"It's not just about coming and needing a week of work to be at a level. It's more global than that and we don't want him to be rushed, we want him to be comfortable, we want him to make the decision of 'yes, I'm ready to go'. It's more about that.

"He's working so well, just evolution in every data, in every aspect of his condition. He's there. Probably he plays Sunday, if he doesn't he will on Thursday [in the Europa League v LASK]. He's there. He's very, very close."

A key feature of Tottenham's start to the new Premier League season, which included a 6-1 win at Manchester United prior to the international break, has been the form of Harry Kane and Son Heung-min.

Kane and Son have combined in six goal involvements, the highest tally in the league for any duo, in four games.

That makes the prospect of adding Bale to the forward line an enticing one, though not one Mourinho appeared willing to commit to as his first choice.

"We have a squad where every player has to fight a lot for a place in the team," Mourinho added.

"I believe you can see Son and Bale playing together, and also both together on the bench and also both enjoying a hot tea in the box. We have so many good options so I refuse to say that anyone is a first choice."

Gareth Bale can rediscover his best form after leaving Real Madrid for Tottenham, according to his Wales coach Ryan Giggs.

The 31-year-old completed a return to Tottenham last month on an initial season-long loan, seven years after swapping the two clubs for a world-record fee at the time.

He won 13 trophies during his time in the Spanish capital but struggled for appearances over the past two seasons following a breakdown in relations with Zinedine Zidane and a lack of fitness.

However, Giggs is hopeful that Bale - who has been left out of Wales' latest squad as he works his way back from a knee injury - will benefit from a return "home".

"He will play more regularly than he did at Madrid," said Giggs ahead of next week's England friendly and the subsequent Nations League double-header with Republic of Ireland and Bulgaria.

"I think it's a good move for Gareth, it's good for Spurs and good for the Premier League in general, to have someone like that who we can watch every week.

"He's at a club he knows well with a very good manager and I think he's said himself it's like going back home."

The versatile forward started training with Tottenham this week for the first time since heading back to north London, having sustained a knee injury while on international duty a month ago.

He will be a key part of Wales' squad for next year's rearranged Euro 2020 and Giggs believes his side will only benefit from having a fully fit Bale in their ranks.

"It will be so much better if he is playing regularly. He will be sharper, will be able to play those two games in a short space of time," said Giggs.

"He's been able to manage it and produce performances because he looks after himself, because of his quality and the experience he's got. But it will be so much better when he is playing regularly."

Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane believes Barcelona have a squad that is capable of "fighting for everything".

After a trophy-less 2019-20 season, Ronald Koeman is rebuilding the Blaugrana, who have seen the likes of Luis Suarez, Arturo Vidal, Ivan Rakitic, Arthur and Nelson Semedo leave.

Philippe Coutinho has returned from his loan spell at Bayern Munich and Miralem Pjanic joined from Juventus, while Lionel Messi ended up staying after requesting a move.

Zidane, whose Madrid visit Real Betis on Saturday, said Barca were strong enough to again be challenging for titles.

"I will be respectful. Besides, I don't know what's going on inside, that's why I don't want to get involved," the Madrid coach told a news conference.

"I think each club has their own issues and difficulties. I think Barcelona, in terms of the team and the squad, is a club who will be fighting for everything.

"I don't have any doubt."

Madrid have also seen some changes to their squad, most notably the departures of Gareth Bale (on loan to Tottenham) and James Rodriguez (Everton).

Bale's relationship with Zidane reportedly deteriorated in recent months, although the Welshman told Sky Sports on Friday he had "no regrets".

Asked if he had anything to say about Bale, Zidane said: "I'm not going to speak about what Gareth said.

"Against, what I will say is that we wish him the best for the future and we are focused on ourselves now. That's all."

Gareth Bale is confident he can handle any pressure at Tottenham after living with a target on his back at Real Madrid.

The Wales star is back in north London and itching to get started at Tottenham, with a minor knee injury delaying his second debut for the club.

Bale spent six years at Tottenham before leaving for Madrid in 2013, winning four Champions League titles and LaLiga twice with Los Blancos before his time in Spain turned sour.

As his performances dipped, and as Zinedine Zidane stopped counting on him as a first-team regular, Bale began to lose the faith of the Santiago Bernabeu crowd.

Posing with a flag carrying the now-immortal line "Wales. Golf. Madrid. In that order" while on international duty did Bale no favours.

Zidane's sidelining of Bale drew few complaints in Spain, but the Cardiff-born forward is back in the Premier League and looking to prove his career can lift off again.

He told Sky Sports: "Obviously going into a different culture, a different country, I've had to grow up as a person, never mind a footballer.

"You just learn how to deal with the situations that you're in. Obviously I've been in immense pressure situations. I've had people on the pitch whistling in the stadium to me.

"I've just learned how to deal with those type of things, to not take it too seriously, [not] take it too much to heart, and just get on with it.

"I have no regrets of what I've done, whatever anyone else has said, that's up to them. I know my opinion of myself and my family know exactly what I am, so that's all I'm worried about."

Spurs hope they have re-enlisted a world-class player who is motivated to prove his qualities all over again. The deal is a season-long loan initially.

"We have a great team here now with a great squad," Bale said of Jose Mourinho's side.

"They've been doing great. Obviously in the time that I've gone away they've gone on and on and obviously reached the Champions League final, the club's got a new stadium, the club itself is better, they're doing better in the Premier League every year.

"So I just want to add to that. I want to try and bring a bit more to the team and try and progress even more and keep pushing in the right direction."

Gareth Bale gave Real Madrid a lot and remains a "world-class talent", according to his former coach Juande Ramos.

The Wales international completed a return to Tottenham last week on a season-long loan, seven years after swapping the two clubs for a world-record fee at the time.

He won 13 trophies during his time at the Santiago Bernabeu, including four Champions League titles, but he struggled for appearances over the past couple of seasons.

Madrid paid little tribute to Bale following his departure and Ramos has suggested the 31-year-old deserves more respect.

"He is a player I like a lot," Ramos, who coached the forward at Tottenham and also managed Madrid for six months, told Radio Marca.

"I think he has given Real Madrid a lot too. He has enormous power and a magical left foot. He is a very usable footballer and one of the few with world-class talent."

Bale scored 105 goals and contributed 57 assists in 251 appearances for Madrid but was restricted to 20 outings last season after falling out of favour with boss Zinedine Zidane.

"Inside Madrid they will know the problems he may have had with Zidane," Ramos said. "But I am sure he has his own side of the story."

Tottenham also signed Sergio Reguilon from Madrid in a permanent deal last week and Ramos has tipped the left-back to be a success in north London.

"For now it is a populated position with [Ferland] Mendy and Marcelo. If they have made a decision to let Sergio go it's because they received a good amount of money," he said.

"Reguilon had less chance of minutes with Real Madrid than the other two and I think he will adapt well to Spurs. He is a player with a lot of potential."

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."

Gareth Bale is confident Jose Mourinho will be the man to bring Tottenham fans the trophies they are so desperate for.

The Wales international revealed Mourinho was a pivotal reason for his high-profile return to Spurs this week after spending seven years with Real Madrid and winning four Champions League medals.

Bale has already held tactical talks with Mourinho and paid tribute to the ability of his new manager, who also has a Real Madrid past, to deliver the silverware that eluded Spurs despite huge progress under former boss Mauricio Pochettino.

"He has spoken to me about a few positions that he would like me to play and obviously I'm happy with that," Bale said to BT Sport about Mourinho.

"He was a big reason for me coming back here, he is a household name and a winner. He is the perfect fit for Tottenham.

"We need to win trophies and he knows how to do that better than anyone. I know every Tottenham fan is desperate for a trophy and we will be trying as hard as possible in every competition to do that."

Even before Harry Kane and Son Heung-min made history in the 5-2 away win over Southampton on Sunday – the England captain setting up all four goals for his team-mate in a Premier League first – Bale was relishing the prospect of completing a star-studded front three.

Speaking prior to the match, he added: "Harry's done incredibly well since he burst onto the scene and scored a lot of goals. 

"To play with him and Son is an exciting prospect for all of us. If we're all pushing in the same direction it could be a very exciting season."

Bale holds no hard feelings about his time in Madrid as he bids to get fit in the next month, with a possible second debut to come against West Ham on October 17 once he has worked his way back from knee injury.

"I need to get fully fit," added the 31-year-old. "I haven't trained since the Wales camp so I need to get on the training pitch. Hopefully I can hit the ground running in my first game, whenever that may be.

"It feels great to be back. I've had a warm welcome. It's nice to be back in an environment where I'm loved. When you feel that love you can play your best football.

"Hopefully now we can kick on this season and try and win a trophy if not two. I'm a mature person who has grown up. I understand my game more and it's evolved. I still have my pace.

"I've enjoyed it [at Madrid], I loved living there. There's ups and downs at every club, wherever you go. The highs have been incredibly high and the lows have been very low.

"I enjoyed achieving what we achieved but it's time for the next chapter in my career."

Page 1 of 11
© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.