Tottenham boss Jose Mourinho is delighting in how Gareth Bale appears to have rediscovered his mojo, saying that any manager in the world would want him with the form he showed against Burnley.
The Wales international delivered the most devastating impact of his second spell in north London with two goals and an assist in the 4-0 victory against the Clarets in the Premier League on Sunday.
Bale’s homecoming from Real Madrid had threatened to be a flop after he suffered with fitness issues for the first half of the campaign, but now he’s showed he is back to his best.
Mourinho, who barely used him during that period, said the 31-year-old is no longer “flat” and is “better than ever”.
Mourinho said: “Sometimes people write things, and sometimes, some of you like to imagine stories, you need to write stories and sometimes you like to say things that are not really true.
“But there is not one single manager in the world that doesn’t play Gareth Bale if Gareth Bale is in very good condition.
“There is not one – but now he is better than ever.
“It’s not just about the two goals he scored, it’s fundamentally about his physical performance. Now, he’s not flat. Now he has ups and downs in the speed he brings to his actions.
“Even in the area in which he plays, sometimes outside, sometimes inside.
“He played very well and his condition is very good. I’m just pleased for the team because he helped the team to win and that’s the most important thing. I’m happy for him.”
Bale lasted 70 minutes against the Clarets and will be instrumental in deciding whether he will be ready for two Premier League games in four days next week.
After opening the scoring after 67 seconds, Bale then set up Harry Kane and was involved in Lucas Moura’s third as Mourinho’s men ran riot in the first half.
He then added a brilliant second after the break to complete a fine afternoon’s work to help Spurs to just a second Premier League win in seven games.