Former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp says Spurs will see the best of Gareth Bale following Jose Mourinho’s sacking.
The Portuguese was dismissed at the start of the week following a string of disappointing results and performances in north London.
He was replaced by former Tottenham player Ryan Mason, who has been handed the reins until the end of the season.
Mason’s tenure got off to a winning start with a 2-1 win over Southampton in midweek, with Bale grabbing the equaliser with an inch-perfect finish.
Bale and Mourinho appeared never to see eye to eye during their working relationship, and Redknapp, a firm supporter of the Welshman, says Spurs will now see an unshackled Bale thrive.
He said: “I think for Gareth going forward now, if he’s made to feel important we’ll see the best of him between now and the end of the season. He could do great for the rest of the year.
“He’s not the most confident boy even though he’s been a world-class player. When he came back and joined the club from Real Madrid he needed to be made to feel important. He’s played a bit of a bit-part role, really.
“When I went to Tottenham he’d gone God knows how many games without being on the winning team. I used to just tell the team ‘give the ball to Gareth, he’ll murder them’ and tell Gareth ‘go and win the game for us’.
“He responds to that, someone believing in him. For whatever reason he wasn’t in Jose’s plans. But against Southampton he started and he looked a different boy, he looked like the Gareth that I know. He was fantastic.”
Another who has been impressed with Bale is team-mate Heung-Min Son, who scored the winner against the Saints from the penalty spot.
Son has gone on record in the past to say how much he likes playing with Bale, and he backed that up with words ahead of the EFL Cup final with Manchester City on Sunday.
He also summed up Bale’s overall contribution to the Spurs cause – something Wales fans know all about.
He said of Bale’s equaliser : “It was like a nice movie with popcorn, that sweet. I’m so happy he scored again. We all know what Gareth can do and he needs just one of those chances.
“He did a fantastic job, worked for the team and that’s what we need – he’s a superstar but he works for the team, he worries about the team, he’s a fantastic guy as well. It was fully deserved.”