Gareth Bale is set to make his second Tottenham debut against West Ham on Sunday, according to Spurs boss Jose Mourinho, who revealed the Welshman is already feeling back at home.
Bale rejoined Tottenham on a season-long loan deal from Real Madrid last month after seven years in Spain, where he struggled to integrate into the culture and language.
🎙️ Jose on @GarethBale11
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) October 16, 2020
Sergio Reguilon also made the move from Madrid to Tottenham and Mourinho said the Spanish left-back sees the difference in Bale’s mood.
“It’s great to hear from Sergio that Gareth looks a different guy. If he’s happy with us and then goes home and can share that happiness with family,” said Mourinho.
“He needs football, he needs to feel a top player again. All the decisions we make with him will be thinking first about the team, but never forgetting what is best for him.”
Bale has spent the past two weeks training after a knee injury delayed his return.
However, he has had little game time over the past year as he fell down the pecking order under Zinedine Zidane at Madrid.
“Of course he wants to play,” Mourinho said. “He wanted to play since the day he arrived, but it was not possible.
“It’s a physical thing. He didn’t have any pre-season and even in the period after lockdown he didn’t participate in much with Real Madrid.
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) October 16, 2020
“Then he plays couple of matches with Wales and had an injury there, so it is not just about coming and needing a week of work to be at the level, it is more global than that.
“We don’t want him to be rushed, we want him to feel comfortable and ‘yes, I’m ready to go’. Probably he plays Sunday, if not it is Thursday, but he’s there.”