Poisonous, arrogant & egotistical, a gist of how every Tottenham Hotspur fan feels about their midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, after his recent interview with the Bild. The Algerian international moved to the White Hart Lane a couple of years ago and was showing some promise at the end of the 14-15 season of the Premier League. However, he failed to keep up his form in the previous season and slowly became out of favor at the club come the end of the campaign. The summer recruits from Pochettino saw Bentaleb seal a loan move to Schalke in the summer and he has now come out with comments that have angered the fans. The 21-year old felt that the fans in England are too demanding and went on to say, “Even if Tottenham were on top of the league, I would not regret my transfer. They believe in me at Schalke”. This has not gone down well with the Spurs faithful but has given rise to a debate on whether Tottenham Hotspur can afford to lose him.
Here are three reasons why they can:
Not a perfect fit for the PL or for Pochettino:
At 21, Bentaleb is surely an exciting prospect in Europe but he is not the kind of a player who suits Pochettino’s intense football. He is an excellent midfielder who knows his way around his man while his strength allows him to hold off challenges to keep possession of the ball. However, he is not the midfielder who will run around the field to provide cover for his team mates and is a genuine liability in the midfield of a team that is among the hardest workers in the league. He is at times too lethargic in possession and though he will learn in due time, he is not the player that will help the Spurs take the next step in years to come.
Every Tottenham Hotspur fan has their opinion on the attitude of players at their club. But Bentaleb unifies them. He is a player who excites the Spurs’ faithful but is not the man that fills them with hope. He is a player who has had his problems in his time at the club and it is also believed that his exile from the team late last season, even from the bench, was an indication of a breakdown in relationship with the manager. Pochettino has a set of players that believe in his methods and are reaping the benefits of it. The fact that he was happy to let the 21-year old go shows that the manager does not really have a problem with the lack of options. Surely, his attitude is better kept away from the team and it might be time for the English outfit to bid adieu to their midfielder.
Depth in the squad:
The major reason for the Spurs to forget about the midfielder is the number of options the team has in the midfield. In the strongest lineup for Spurs, Moussa Dembele, Victor Wanyama and Eric Dier fight for two midfield spots in front of the defense. English star Dele Alli has also excelled in a midfield role this season. That leaves Pochettino with 4 options for 2 places in the squad, along with a couple of youngsters waiting to grab their opportunity. An in-form Bentaleb would find it hard to get into this squad and an arrogant Bentaleb will not be anywhere near it. The 21-year old is beyond doubt a talented midfielder but Pochettino can easily go the entire season without his addition to the squad.
Here is how the fans reacted to his statement:
Bentaleb showing exactly why Poch didn’t want him in the squad.
Poisonous, arrogant & egotistical.
— Rob ‘MDK’ Hayward (@robMDK) October 5, 2016
— Alan (@LaptopManager_) October 5, 2016
Another reason for why I don’t like Bentaleb https://t.co/1JOaaCDhsh
— Bin Bentaleb (@Farazhassan25) October 5, 2016
Until the end of the season where they don’t buy you because you aren’t worth €20m & you’re back at club where everyone now hates you Nabil. https://t.co/Qdg2CZfPpK
— Kaj (@THFC_Kaj) October 5, 2016