Tottenham striker Harry Kane looks set to be involved in an emotional return to Leyton Orient in Tuesday’s Carabao Cup game.
The England captain scored his first professional goal while on loan at Brisbane Road from Spurs in 2011 and the relationship has lasted, with Kane sponsoring Orient’s three kits this season.
Despite playing 84 minutes at Southampton on Sunday, where he scored and created four goals for Son Heung-min, and having another game on Thursday in Europa League qualifying, boss Jose Mourinho has suggested that Kane will play against the League Two team.
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Very proud to announce that I'm supporting the club that gave me my first pro start and three amazing causes by sponsoring @leytonorientfc's shirts for the 2020/21 season. Delighted to be able to give back to the club where my journey began and those doing incredible work on the frontline and for @havenhousech and @mindcharity.
“Harry in principle he has to be (involved), we need specially in these matches against these teams, in theory, inferior and, in theory, teams that are going to defend against you, you need a striker,” Mourinho said.
“I want Harry to play, let’s see if he can, if he feels ready to move.
“He’s an experienced player, he knows his body better than any sports science guy or any medical guy. If he is ready to play, of course he will.”
One man who will not feature against the O’s is Gareth Bale, who is still nursing a knee injury.
Mourinho is not putting a timescale on when the Welshman is back, but hinted his desire to pull the Spurs shirt back on will hasten his recovery.
— Tottenham Hotspur (@SpursOfficial) September 19, 2020
“I don’t know when Gareth can be back,” the Portuguese said. “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 shorten the period of recovery, you can shorten the period of getting fit and ready to play.
“We want to help him so when he’s available to train with the team, 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.”
Fellow new signing Sergio Reguilon will also not be involved, but could make his debut against Newcastle on Sunday.
“You asked me about Sergio, I think he will be quite quick,” Mourinho added. “He is in the last period of his recovery, he’s trained today (Sunday) with one of my assistants.
“He cannot play Tuesday, but I would say that he would be available for us maybe for the end of the week.”
Although Kane may be involved at Orient, Mourinho will otherwise make sweeping changes as they hit the middle of their Sunday-Tuesday-Thursday run of games.
The likes of Serge Aurier, Moussa Sissoko, Joe Hart, Toby Alderweireld, Erik Lamela and Steven Bergwijn will feature, having been substitutes at St Mary’s on Sunday.
Dele Alli is also set to play, despite having been linked with a move to Paris St Germain after being left out of the last two matchday squads.
“Some positions in the squad give us incredible options” Mourinho said. “If you look to our bench you can imagine that Aurier is going to play, Joe Hart is going to play, Moussa is going to play, Toby. Lamela is going to play so you can imagine that some of these guys are going to play, replacing players from the same level.
“Exactly players from the same level so you can imagine some of them are going to play and replace the others.”