Tottenham's Bentaleb on what is helping him play with Mason

Tottenham Hotspur's Nabil Bentaleb thinks his time with Ryan Mason in the youth team has helped him make the step up.

Nabil Bentaleb has told FourFourTwo that he is enjoying playing with Ryan Mason in Tottenham Hotspur's first team this season. 

Bentaleb and Mason have become Mauricio Pochettino's first-choice central midfield pairing this campaign, with their high energy levels being perfectly suited to his style of football. 

It is a partnership which is working to great effect and Bentaleb believes it has clicked instantly because they both played together at youth-team level. 

"The partnership is going very well," he said to Four Four Two. "We played a few games in the development squad together and I think that really helped us. We know each other well and we’re both hungry for the wins.

"We don’t leave anything on the pitch each time we step out onto it, and I think we have the right mentality to play in the Premier League."

Bentaleb's importance to the side has been highlighted during his time away at the African Cup of Nations. 

The 20-year-old has been playing for Algeria at the international tournament and the Lilywhites have suffered in his absence, with his usual exuberance missing from their game.

Although Tottenham do have other options in the central midfield area - namely Benjamin Stambouli and Mousa Dembele - neither possess the same attributes as Bentaleb and they haven't had as much of an impact. 

When Bentaleb does come back into the Spurs team, he will be hoping to regain his place straight away, as the side go in search of a Champions League spot. 

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