Nabil Bentaleb may only be 20 but he is already a vital part of Tottenham Hotspur’s starting XI, his return from the Africa Cup of Nations coming just as his side needed him the most.
With games coming thick and fast in a number of competitions, the Algerian international is integral to Mauricio Pochettino’s side and he showed it again this weekend, on an occasion when many of his teammates disappointed.
Tottenham may have fought back from two goals down to draw 2-2 with West Ham United on Sunday, but there was little to be pleased with aside from the fighting spirit that should rightly be commended.
And yet that spirit came in no small part from Bentaleb himself, whose passion for Tottenham – and for seeking a win when all seemed lost – was clear for all to see.
Some of Tottenham’s big-name stars need to take a long hard look at themselves before a vital time in the season, with the final of the Capital One Cup just a week away; but Bentaleb should simply keep doing what he is doing.
|Passing Accuracy||Shots||On-target Shooting Accuracy||Effective Clearances||Duels Won||Aerials Won||Interceptions Won||Tackles Won||Mins Played|
Yes, the youngster was part of a midfield that was sometimes dominated by the more experienced Alex Song and Cheikhou Kouyate, but Bentaleb still impressed.
He finished the match with a passing accuracy of 86 per cent and he had four shots on goal – two of which hit the target.
He also won six duels and four interceptions as he helped his side claw back what could prove to be a vital point come the season’s end.
While his all-round demenour and refusal to give in is a factor that cannot be measured but should not be ignored.