Jose Mourinho has insisted Gareth Bale and Dele Alli have futures at Tottenham.
Bale and Alli have been bit-part players under Mourinho at Spurs, with the former restricted to cameos from the bench and the latter struggling to even secure a place in the matchday squads.
Both were named on the bench against Manchester City on Saturday, but could not shift the balance of power in Spurs’ favour after entering the field in the second half of the 3-0 defeat.
Bale did show a flash of quality, with a jinking run and fine shot that was saved by Ederson, and he and Alli were topics of debate in Mourinho’s press conference.
"Good players when they are fit and ready and when they can are always welcome,” Mourinho said when asked about the future of Bale and Alli at the club. “We coaches sometimes we can make wrong decisions, we all do. Not none of us is crazy.
Not one of us says I don’t want this player to help me and the team when the player has the potential and the conditions to do it.
“Do they have the qualities? Yes they have and we know they have. If they are fit, ready and consider themselves physically and mentally ready, welcome, because the team needs everyone.”
Commenting on Bale’s brilliant run and shot, Mourinho said: “I think he was okay. Of course, one training session with the team no more. Of course, not ready for much more than this.
“Positive feelings. He had a good action, could score a goal. No problems after the match. Let’s see if he can play Thursday or if not Thursday then next weekend.
“Players of good quality when fit can add something to the team, so if he’s fit and available welcome.”
‘This week was a very special week’ – Mourinho goes on bizarre schedule rant
Spurs' title challenge fell apart on the back of a run of three defeats out of four in the Premier League prior to the meeting with City, and the loss at the Etihad left them in ninth; on the back foot in the race for Champions League qualification.