Noel Whelan has suggested Jose Mourinho has held clear-the-air talks with Gareth Bale after his return to the Tottenham starting XI.
The former Leeds United striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 31-year-old’s body language had changed in Thursday’s 4-1 win over Wolfsberger.
Bale, who has started every one of the Lilywhites Europa League games this season, set up Heung-min Son for Spurs’ opener and netted their second of the evening with a fierce strike from inside the box.
Despite his regular European appearances, the Wales international has been used sparingly in the Premier League by Jose Mourinho with just two starts from his seven top-flight outings.
Bale’s return to Spurs has been fraught with fitness problems and frustration for both player and manager.
However, Whelan admitted he thought the winger’s body language had changed for the better against Wolfsberger and suggested Mourinho had taken the time to resolve any issues between the pair.
“You could see it, the body language was there, the energy was there, all that confidence was there again,” Whelan told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.
“That seems that maybe there’s been an open-air talk between manager and player and maybe the player realises that he needs to produce better on the field.
“That certainly was more like a Gareth Bale performance and the reason why Tottenham have brought him into the football club.
“It’s about the consistency now, can he keep fighting like that? Can he keep producing these performances which, between now and the end of the season, may determine whether he’s going to be at Tottenham player permanently?”
Bale, who is on loan from Real Madrid until the end of the season, has now played 17 times and scored five goals across all competitions this season.