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Mourinho: Bale facing ‘crucial moment’ with Kane injured

Joe Prince-Wright, Andy Edwards and Nick Mendola dissect the current state of the Premier League's battle for the top four and discuss if Manchester United truly have what it takes.

Jose Mourinho has admitted that the coming weeks will be a “crucial moment” for Gareth Bale to make an impact for Tottenham Hotspur following yet another ankle injury to star striker Harry Kane.

[ MORE: Klopp issues Matip, Fabinho injury updates; open to signing center back ]

Thus far in his return to Tottenham, Gareth Bale has made just nine starts (just one in the Premier League) while firmly entrenched as an oft-injured backup option while Kane and Son Heung-min carry the bulk of the goal-scoring load. Kane’s injury, which he suffered during Spurs’ 3-1 defeat to Liverpool on Thursday, is expected to keep him out for “a few weeks,” forcing Mourinho to look elsewhere among his considerable band of attacking options.

“Harry Kane is Harry Kane. There are players in some teams that are not replaceable. But, one thing we [don’t] have, like last season, is three or four attacking players all injured at the same time. We have [available] (Carlos) Vinicius, (Steven) Bergiwjn, we have Lucas (Moura), Gareth Bale, but of course this is a different situation because we have attacking players.”

Whether or not Gareth Bale will be an option to directly replace Kane at center forward — “I don’t think Gareth is a striker, I don’t think he likes to play as a striker,” he said after the game — Mourinho admits this will be a “crucial” period in Bale’s time back at Tottenham, a period which could very well make or break the side’s season as they presently sit closer (three points) to ninth place than they do to fourth (four).

“That is a big impact for him, to play 90 minutes, so today it was impossible to be fresh to play a lot. It’s a crucial moment for him. He’s feeling better and better, and of course when you lose a player of Harry’s quality and dimension, the other guys have to step up.”

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