Ex Spurs boss: World Cup star needs game time at WHL to develop

Nabil Bentaleb Spurs

Former manager Tim Sherwood had some advice for his successor Mauricio Pochettino regarding the development of one player.

Tim Sherwood was often described as being a little over obsessed with including Nabil Bentaleb in is Tottenham team.

Plucking him from the Under-21 team at White Hart Lane once he took over managerial duties, Sherwood would often pick the youngster over more established international players, more than happy to wax lyrical about his ability and the trust he had in him.

Being dismissed by Daniel Levy after the season came to a close hasn't hindered his willingness to talk up the 19-year-old, and Bentaleb's impressive performances in Brazil have justified the faith Sherwood showed the player, having helped Algeria into the last 16 of a World Cup for the first time in their history.

And it left Sherwood prepared to endorse the young midfielder ahead of Pochettino considering the players he has at his disposal in central positions.

"Nabil is not afraid of anyone," said Sherwood. "He is perfect for the way that Algeria play, with a pressing game.

"I tended to use him in a more defensive role, mainly because I knew I could trust him to do what I asked."

Pochettino is a big advocate of his central midfielders giving the opposition little time on the ball before they are being challenged, and this may stand Bentaleb in good stead ahead of his return to pre-season training.

However, Sherwood also claimed the player would be more than capable in advanced positions, as well as warning that his growth could stutter if he failed to get game time: "In his development at Spurs, he has always been a box-to-box midfielder and he has always scored goals in the junior age groups.

"He still needs to develop and is not the finished article yet, but in the future he could be that sort of goalscoring midfielder. If Mauricio Pochettino is looking for that sort of player, then Nabil is perfect.

"He has to play regularly, though, if his development is to continue."

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