Frank McAvennie is baffled as to why Gareth Bale has been overlooked in the Premier League by Tottenham manager Jose Mourinho.

The former West Ham and Celtic striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, admitted he expected the 31-year-old to line up alongside Harry Kane and Son Heung-min in a new-look front-three this season.

Bale has started just one league game since he rejoined the Lilywhites from Real Madrid on a season-long loan deal in September, a 1-0 win away at West Brom.

Mourinho has selected Steven Bergwijn in games against the so-called ‘big-six’ and the decision appears justified with seven points taken from a possible nine against Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal.

In the Europa League Bale has been a regular fixture, he has started all six of their group games, including Thursday night’s 2-0 win over Royal Antwerp.

When asked by Football Insider if he was surprised by the Wales international’s lack of minutes in the Premier League, McAvennie said: “I do not get it.

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“I really do not understand it. I thought we were going to see the front three of Kane, Son and Bale every week. I do not understand why he is not playing him in the Premier League.

“But listen, they are playing well and the main thing is that they are playing to Mourinho’s strengths and then even then they have been fantastic going forward.

“I hate to say it but they are putting a challenge in this season.”  

In other Tottenham news, Paul Robinson has told Football Insider he expects Jose Mourinho to bolster his squad with another defender in January after big reveal.