Exclusive: Phillips drops surprise Bale claim after big Spurs development
Kevin Phillips insists he would rather have a fully fit Son Heung-min in his side than Gareth Bale as both Tottenham attackers target mid-October returns from injury.
Speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, the former Sunderland and West Brom striker hailed the “awesome” Son, 28, who has been “exceptional” alongside Harry Kane this season.
Bale returned to the training pitch as he steps up his recovery from a knee injury, while Son is currently sidelined with a hamstring injury sustained in the first half of Spurs’ 1-1 Premier League draw with Newcastle on Sunday.
— Gareth Bale (@GarethBale11) October 1, 2020
Jose Mourinho is confident that the pair will be available after the international break and be fit to feature in the Premier League against West Ham on 17 October.
Phillips believes that the return of Son from injury will be most important to Mourinho.
That may be regarded as a surprise in some quarters given Bale’s legendary Tottenham status and the excitement generated by his return to the club from Real Madrid.
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“As much as I love Bale, I would rather have a fully fit Son in my side. He has started the season so, so well,” he told Football Insider.
“It is an opportunity for someone to step up if Son is not fit after the international and if Gareth Bale steps straight into that side it would not surprise me if we are saying in a month’s time, ‘What a start Bale has had, he is on fire.’
“He has certainly got the capabilities but I would rather have a fully fit Son in my side because he is an awesome player. His link up play with Harry Kane has been exceptional this season.”
Son has started the season in electric form with five goals in his first five appearances.
Kane and Son linked up to devastating affect at Southampton last month with Kane assisting all four of Son’s goals in a 5-2 victory.