Tim Sherwood reveals Nabil Bentaleb would cry if he lost a five-a-side

Bentaleb, Fazio

The Aston Villa boss has heaped praise on the Tottenham Hotspur midfielder.

Aston Villa head coach Tim Sherwood has praised the ultra-competitive nature of Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, according to the Daily Mail.

The Villa boss, who coached Tottenham last season, was reflecting on a key decision during his White Hart Lane tenure, when he brought Bentaleb on during a game against Southampton.

The 20-year-old hasn't looked back since, according to Sherwood, and has been immense for the north London side so far this season.

But so competitive is the Spurs youngster that he would cry if he lost a five-a-side, while every day was like his 'last on Earth,' Sherwood has revealed.

The Aston Villa boss told the Mail: "At Southampton, when I was managing Tottenham, it wasn’t going well. We needed a change. I turned around to the bench. We had Etienne Capoue, Nabil Bentaleb and Lewis Holtby. I told Nabil to warm up and I could see the others looking at each other. What, him? But that was my gamble.

"I wasn’t 100 per cent sure of them but I knew this kid. I’d watched him in training. Every day was like his last on Earth. He would cry if he lost a five-a-side. He played and never looked back."

Along with Harry Kane, Hugo Lloris and others, Bentaleb has been one of the undoubted stars of Tottenham's season, despite some supporters occasionally questioning his midfield partnership with Ryan Mason.

Up next for Spurs is a trip to Queens Park Rangers at 3pm today, with a win very-much needed to keep the north London side in the hunt for a top-four place.

The fact Mauricio Pochettino's side reached the Capital One Cup final is certainly an achievement in itself. But Tottenham will no doubt need more to show for their season come May...

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