Nabil Bentaleb had established himself as an important first team player for Schalke. Since arriving in 2016/17 (initially on loan), the midfielder had made 97 appearances in all competitions for the German side, beginning to show his talent. But now, Bentaleb hasn’t featured at all for Die Knappen this season. Disciplinary reasons according to the club. As the issue still hasn’t been resolved, Newcastle United are closing in on a loan deal for the out of favour 25 year old.

Nabil Bentaleb in action for Tottenham

Some Premier League fans may remember he came through Tottenham‘s academy and featured frequently for his first two seasons at White Hart Lane. Even starting in Spurs’ 2015 League Cup final defeat to Chelsea. But after injuries halted his development in 2015/16 and a fall out with Mauricio Pochettino, he left for Schalke on loan the following season. The German club then chose to make this deal permanent for £16 million in 2017/18. Now according to multiple outlets, including The Guardian, the Algerian is close to a return to the Premier League.

Prior to this season’s falling out with the club, Bentaleb has always been considered a talented player. But consistency coupled with his clear attitude problems has left him in cold water. Either way, if he can sort out his mentality, here’s our profile on the Spurs youth academy product:

Nabil Bentaleb – Style of Play

At 6ft 2, Bentaleb has a huge physical presence in midfield. Able to shrug off the opposition with ease, his strength makes it so easy for him to shield the ball and neutralise the press. He also has a decent turn of pace for a central midfielder, which coupled with the physicality, makes the 2015 League Cup runner up incredibly hard to stop. On his day, might I add.

Defensively too, the Algerian international is committed. Sometimes rash, but he won’t shy away from a challenge. The aggression in his challenges, as shown in the video, will definitely sit well with the St James Park faithful. You want to see that grit and aggression from your midfielder. Averaging 1.3 tackles and 1.4 interceptions in 2018/19, Bentaleb certainly doesn’t neglect his defensive duties.

But where the Schalke midfielder shines the most is with his attacking play. A box to box midfielder who is technically gifted, Bentaleb thrives in the final third. Again, on his day. The silky dribbling, vision for an intricate pass and a cannon of a left foot. He’s got the full package going forward. In 2017/18, 4 goals and 3 assists in 16 games highlights the influence he can have on a game. Particularly with his shooting, the 25 year old hits the ball so sweetly, as shown with some of the goals in the video.

Good move for both parties?

If he can get his head right and consistently perform on tyneside, Nabil Bentaleb could develop into a very decent player. As I said, he has the talent. It’s just a question of consistency and mentality. For the Magpies, it’s low risk as a loan deal, with a potentially high reward.

Nabil Bentaleb in action for Schalke

At 25 years old, he still has a bit of time to develop before hitting his prime. Let’s hope the Algerian can prove his current German employers wrong with loan deal in England…

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