Gareth Bale looks happier and more confident than ever at Tottenham, according to manager Jose Mourinho.
Wales international Bale has impressed in his last three Spurs appearances, registering two goals and two assists in one start and two substitute appearances.
Those displays, in two legs of the 8-1 aggregate Europa League win over Wolfsberger and in the Premier League loss at West Ham, came after a disappointing start to his loan spell from Real Madrid.
Bale has largely struggled with his form and fitness, falling out of favour with a seemingly frustrated Mourinho.
There was intense speculation over whether Bale had any chance of extending his stay from Madrid for a second season.
But he now seems revitalised, with Mourinho offering a positive update ahead of Sunday’s home Premier League game against Burnley.
“The mental side is always a consequence of the physical side,” explained Mourinho.
“If a player feels great, if he is training 100 per cent, if the feelings are very good then there are no psychological problems, fears or barriers.
“When you have these little things and you have a recent history of injuries, these things are normal, they have a consequence.
“But lately, he is fine, it is just a question of how many minutes he can play, how many days he needs to recover between matches – it is just about that.
“He looks happier than ever, looks confident. In training you can see that confidence back, the way he hits a shot like for example in the last game, it is a confident shot.
“A player with fears or feelings in the muscle does not hit that shot, strike the ball that way. That strike means a lot, it means freedom in relation to the brain and the muscle.
“He’s in his best condition since he arrived.”
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Mourinho insisted Bale has the complete trust of everyone at Tottenham when it comes to managing his condition after being asked if the 31-year-old could only play when he was 100 per cent fit.
The under-pressure Spurs boss added: “He’s a player with a lot of experience and players with experience, they know their body better than anyone.
“There is no coach, fitness coach, sports science, medical staff who knows the body better than a very experienced player.
“Especially a player that had years of small problems, bigger problems and situations that had an impact on the last couple of years of his career.
“We trust him. We trust his experience, his analysis and everything with him is done with the great participation of everyone, because in the end the best for him is the best for Tottenham.
“To have him giving us important contributions bit by bit, of course we want that in a more continuous way.
“We have important Premier League matches, a crucial cup final, crucial matches in the Europa League.
“The more we have Gareth, a player with his confidence, experience, know-how of big moments, the better.
“So we have to be careful and we have to trust the player who I repeat has a lot of experience.”
Tottenham are ninth in the Premier League ahead of a crucial week for Mourinho that sees them face three teams in the bottom half: Burnley, Fulham and Crystal Palace.