Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has published its top 60 young footballers and Tottenham Hotspur have a player in the top 20.
Considering all the new arrivals at Tottenham Hotspur last summer, it comes as some surprise that a teenager who made his senior debut only in December has gone on to become an almost-ever-present in the second half of the campaign.
With Tim Sherwood’s appointment as Spurs boss following the departure of Andre Villas-Boas, 19-year-old Nabil Bentaleb suddenly found himself thrust into the spotlight, and now Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has included him in their top 20 teenagers in world football.
It is quite an accolade to be in the same company as the likes of Adnan Januzaj, Raheem Sterling and Marquinhos, but that is exactly where Bentaleb finds himself, at least in the eyes of one Italian publication.
The midfielder has made 19 club appearances to date this season, providing two assists in the process. And yet following Spurs 4-0 defeat to Liverpool last weekend, the White Hart Lane faithful appeared less than enamoured by the youngster’s contribution.
Researching a piece I would later write about Christian Eriksen - who appeared to be the one Spurs player who escaped criticism on Sunday - I came across a number of comments criticising the continued inclusion of Bentaleb.
But at just 19, and now hailed as one of the best young players around, the future seems bright for a youngster who, it must be remembered, is still very much learning the ropes.