The unexpected and meteoric rise of Harry Kane has understandably been met with its fair share of media frenzy and hyperbole and has allowed the contribution of another young Tottenham talent to sail somewhat under the radar.
Nabil Bentaleb has been an ever-present in the Spurs side since his introduction by Tim Sherwood last season. Impressing at first, he suffered a dip in form and was unfairly accused of not being in the team on merit but because of his ties to Sherwood in the youth team.
Fighting through the sticky patch, Bentaleb has proven his worth and is now established as first choice in central midfield. His performances haven’t gone unnoticed on the international scene either. Only making his debut in March last year, Bentaleb went on to represent Algeria at the World Cup last summer and again at the AFCON in January.
The midfielder's form won't have gone unnoticed by potential suitors, but Bentaleb seems eager to put pen to paper on a new deal, as reported in the London Evening Standard, and follow in the footsteps of Ryan Mason, Danny Rose and Harry Kane who signed long-term deals earlier this season.
“Of course. I like the club, I like the style of the coaches," Bentaleb is quoted as saying. "I feel very good here and hopefully we will do this.
"Before the end of the season? Yes, why not. We will speak to the people concerned with it. I am really happy here and people are happy with me. I have played many games this season and I’m trying to improve every year.”
Given his experience and composure in a notoriously difficult position, it’s easy to forget his tender age. At 20 years old – 15 months younger than Harry Kane – his consistency in central midfield over the course of the season has been nothing short of remarkable.
Playing with an intelligence and confidence that belies his age and with a determination to constantly improve, Spurs fans will be excited to see what else is to come from Nabil Bentaleb.