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Jose Mourinho’s cryptic answer when asked if Gareth Bale will start vs West Ham

Jose Mourinho gave a cryptic response when asked if Gareth Bale would make his second debut against West Ham on Sunday.

The Welshman returned to his former club on loan from Real Madrid, where he made a then-record £85m move seven years ago.

Picking up a knee injury on international duty with Wales last month, it has seen some suggest the 31-year-old could make his debut in the London derby this weekend.

But the Spurs manager has not given anything away in his latest comments on the forward.

Speaking in training this week, Mourinho said: “The team is the most important thing and Gary is here – sorry, Gareth – to help the team.

"But at the same time we care about him. The decision will be for the good of the team and for him.”

Bale arrives at the club after a disappointing season with Madrid, making just 20 appearances after being ostracised last season by Zinedine Zidane.

But the forward has done his part to help the La Liga giants to four Champions League trophies in his seven years there.

And former Premier League defender Danny Mills believes he will play a more important role for Spurs – but not necessarily from the starting XI.

“It will be a big boost to have in the dressing room, definitely,” he told Football Insider.

“When you need a goal or a bit of inspiration from the bench there are not too many better than Bale.

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“Mourinho likes to keep it tight and if by the 60th minute the scores are level he will bring Bale on. Suddenly the opposition will be worried.

“It is a magnificent option for Mourinho to have at his disposal.”

While his agent Jonathan Barnett, who is an Arsenal fan, believes Bale can guide Spurs to their first league title since 1961.

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