Nabil Bentaleb may have left Spurs on loan this summer, Bundesliga side Schalke being his destination, but that doesn’t mean his career is over at the North London club.
Taking the likes of Kyle Walker and Harry Kane as examples, players who leave on loan still have a high likelyhood of making it in the Tottenham first team – and that’s why it’s important to keep up with how the loanees are getting on at their respective sides.
Luke McGee, Federico Fazio and Clinton N’Jie, amongst others, all followed Bentaleb out on a temporary basis – however the Algerian’s success has been unrivalled amongst them.
It’s hard to remember that Nabil turns just 22 years old today, as he managed to hold down a first team spot for nearly an entire season under Tim Sherwood – even starting the Capital One Cup Final against Chelsea. So on the occasion of Bentaleb’s birthday, its worth watching the highlights from his Schalke loan spell so far.
He’s now made 15 appearances in his time at the Veltins-Arena, contributing to 7 goals. They’re worth a watch…
🅰️ Assist vs Köln (Klaas-Jan Huntelaar)
The first goal Bentaleb c0ntributed was a beautifully crafted assist to set up veteran striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, who finished well to give Schalke the lead at home to Köln.
Although the game ended with a 3-1 loss, Bentaleb could take heart with the gorgeous throughball. Could Harry Kane be on the end of passes like those?
🅰️ Assist vs Borussia Mönchengladbach (Breel Embolo)
His next assist came in a much more positive result. His long throughball was latched onto by Swiss youngster Breel Embolo who completed a 4-0 home rout of Champions League standard Borussia Mönchengladbach.
This was to be the start of a stunning unbeaten run for the German side.
⚽️ Goal vs Augsburg
Bentaleb opened his account in Germany in stunning style. He opened the scoring in Augsburg with a left-footed piledriver which tested the Bundesliga’s Goal-Line Decision system for the very first time in it’s history.
The game ended 1-1, but Bentaleb’s stunner was undoubtedly the highlight of the game.
Plus, replays showed that the league’s new technology worked perfectly:
⚽️ ⚽️ Brace vs 1. FSV Mainz 05
His scoring run continued as Schalke brushed Mainz aside 3-0 at home.
He thrashed home his second goal in as many appearances midway through the first half, showing a goalscoring knack he never seemed to show at Spurs.
Bentaleb scored just once in his 66 appearances at White Hart Lane before moving to Germany, a scrappy finish in a home win against Newcastle in the Cup, but shooting boots were well and truly on as he bagged a second of the game later on:
That secured a first man of the match award for the youngster.
⚽️ Goal vs Krasnodar
Nabil’s first European goal came in the second leg of a tie with Kuban Krasnodar, after he was left in Germany for the opening leg.
He showed he can get into positions where he wouldn’t have been in at Spurs, and that he was thriving in a more advanced role than his deep-lying pivot position at the Lane, latching onto Yevhen Konoplyanka’s saved strike to top a 2-0 win.
⚽️ Goal vs Werder Bremen
His most recent goal showed his new-found poachers’ instincts once again.
He reacted fastest to slide home after Naldo’s free-kick was palmed into his path, giving him a fifth goal in as many games.
This kind of form surely cannot go unnoticed at Spurs, especially with the apparent lack of depth causing problems in European competition as well as in the Premier League. He is seeing plenty of game time but only time will tell whether he is part of Mauricio Pochettino’s plans for the future.
But for now, happy birthday Nabil. Let’s hope to see him back at the Lane soon!
Keep up to date with Bentaleb and the rest of Spurs’ loanees by following @JMcCarthyLIVE on Twitter!
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