Tottenham Hotspur fans were finally treated to a glimpse of Gareth Bale in a Lilywhite shirt once again on Sunday as he played alongside Harry Kane and Heung-min Son in a front three.
It looked to be the perfect welcome home for the Welshman when Harry Kane set him free in the dying moments of the match, with the scores at 3-2.
Bale effortlessly cut inside onto his famous left-foot, rolled the ball past one defender, and opened up his body for the shot. The only thing missing was the finish.
The ball curling well wide of the net was perhaps a rude awakening to the fact that this is an older Gareth Bale who has not played consistent first-team football for some time.
However, Spurs fans will be hoping to see him shake off the rust and reach his peak once again in the near future.
One journalist asked Mourinho today whether Bale could reach the heights of where he was at when he first left Spurs, or whether that is an unrealistic aim.
Mourinho responded (Football London): “No player is the same with such a gap in time, 2013 to 2020, we’re talking about seven years. We’re not speaking about seven months. It’s not Gareth Bale, it’s every player in the world.
“Seven years, the players they change. Sometimes it’s not about changing for better or worse. It’s about change. Just an evolution in their qualities, their style of play. Sometimes it’s even in the positions they play.
“So, of course, it’s not the same player, it’s just a different player.”
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