Mourinho reveals what position Gareth Bale told him he wants to play in advance of his likely debut vs West Ham
Bale is set to make his first start for Tottenham since rejoining them on a season-loan from Real Madrid last month, as reports the Sun.
And Spurs boss Mourinho warned we will see a very different player to the lightning left winger, who left the club for the Bernabeu just over seven years ago.
The Special One said: “One of the first questions in my first conversation with Gareth — because the team is the most important thing but the player is important too — was ‘What’s your favourite position?’
“I wanted to start from there and he answered me the question.
“Does that mean he will always be used in that position? No. Because the most important thing is the team, and he will play where the team needs him to play.
“But he was very clear by saying his favourite position is on the right.
“It’s not as a No 10, it’s not as a striker, it’s not any more on the left side like he did in the first years of his career at Southampton and Tottenham.
“His favourite position now is on the right side. So, that was a very good starting point of his development here.”
But Mourinho believes Bale, 31, will still be able to put his stamp on matches just like he did during his first Spurs spell and in his first few years in Madrid — before his fallout with their coach Zinedine Zidane.
Bale is set to start against West Ham on Sunday evening.
And Mourinho said: “When he reaches his continuity and when he reaches his normal intensity and dynamic, I think he can be the player people saw being decisive when he went to Real Madrid, in a very similar position.
“Real was basically, Bale, Karim Benzema, Cristiano Ronaldo, with Bale fundamentally playing from the right and that’s the position he prefers.”
Former Manchester United and Chelsea chief Mourinho, 57, insisted he is also playing a different role these days – as a club man.
Asked if he now had the perfect platform on which to become a “super coach” again, he replied: “I am not worried about that, I am worried about Tottenham – not about me.
“Tottenham needs an evolution to end this period. Hopefully we do it with me here but if not with me, I hope that I can give a contribution for that.
“Tottenham needs to win a trophy. That is the aim of the fans and the club.
“I am worried with Tottenham and not with myself.
“I will be just a consequence of what happens but I am in a period of my career where I become much more of a club man than before.
“I always gave everything to the club where I was working but I always had space to be selfish and think about myself – you could feel that in some of my career decisions.
“In this moment I give a completely different perspective and I only care about Tottenham.”
Bale playing on the right and Jose not caring only about himself – these really are strange times.
TOTTENHAM’S LIKELY LINEUP vs WEST HAM
Lloris; Doherty, Dier, Sanchez, Reguilon; Winks, Ndombele; Bale, Bergwijn, Son; Kan