Jose Mourinho has suggested that Gareth Bale could recover from injury ahead of schedule, with it possible that a second debut for Tottenham will be taken in before the October international break.
When announcing the return of a familiar face to north London, Spurs stated that a Wales international seeking to rediscover his spark would not figure any time soon.
A knee problem is keeping Bale on the sidelines at present and it was claimed that he could sit out Premier League, Carabao Cup and Europa League outings before returning to fitness.
Mourinho, though, believes the desire to make an impact back in English football – on the back of recent struggles at Real Madrid – will see Bale push himself into contention sooner than expected.
The Portuguese told the Evening Standard when offering a fitness update: “I don't know when Gareth can be back.
“The only thing I know is that his motivation is high. He's so happy to be with the club of his heart, he's so happy to play for us.
“And when a player has this motivation, many times you can short [reduce] the period of recovery, you can short the period of getting fit and ready to play.
“We're more than happy to have him and help him back to a level that made him one of the best players in the world.”
Bale’s arrival at Spurs was confirmed on the same day that Sergio Reguilon completed a similar switch from Real Madrid.
The highly-rated left-back has made a permanent move, rather than a season-long loan, but is another that Mourinho is looking forward to letting off the leash.
He added, with Tottenham about to see a Carabao Cup clash with Leyton Orient on Tuesday followed by a Europa League qualifier against Shkendija on Thursday: “I think Sergio will be quick [to play].
“He cannot play on Tuesday but I would say he will be available for us maybe for the end of the week.”
One man who will figure in midweek is Dele Alli, with Mourinho saying of an England international who has slipped out of favour of late and generated transfer talk as a result: “He will play Tuesday, he needs to show how good he is.”
On the back of a busy week in cup competition, Spurs – who crushed Southampton 5-2 in their last outing – will return to Premier League action with a home date against Newcastle.