Why Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy must meet Nabil Bentaleb’s contract demands

Bentaleb has become frustrated at Tottenham’s handling of his contract situation.

Rumblings of discontent - per the Telegraph - have begun to emerge from Nabil Bentaleb in recent days amid what had seemed to be, for all intents and purposes, a happy relationship between him and Spurs.

Since being introduced by Tim Sherwood 18 months ago, the Algerian has gone from academy unknown to first choice in central midfield. He is adored by Spurs fans for his passion and controlling presence and is trusted by Mauricio Pochettino to adhere to his philosophy on the pitch.

With his current contract believed to be in the £8-10k a week range, it’s clear that a considerable wage increase is order. Given the average wage for a Premier League player is around £30k a week, Bentaleb’s rumoured demands of £35-40k seem very reasonable - if not a tad on the low side.

When the wages of some of his lesser performing colleagues are considered - Soldado: £78k , Paulinho: £50k, Adebayor: £120k - Bentaleb's frustration at Spurs’ stubbornness is unsurprising.

"I’ve been working really hard and it’s normal for me to want to get rewarded," Bentaleb said in an interview with The Telegraph.

"We’ve been negotiating for nearly nine months now, since September, and it’s getting really long and, of course, I’m getting a little bit tired of it."

The fact that the situation has been allowed to reach the point where Bentaleb is giving interviews airing his grievances, is a worrying sign. It seems unlikely that his wage demands would be so exorbitant as to warrant a refusal from the Spurs heirachy. If it is rather a case of haggling over whether they stretch to £45k, £50k or even £60k a week – it’s a battle Daniel Levy doesn't need to have.

Forget his current salary and consider his performance level: first choice midfielder for the fifth place team in the Premier League. His attitude is first rate and he has all the tools to become a future Spurs captain. Add to that, his tender 20 years on this planet and it’s clear there’s only an upside to retaining his services.

He is part of a small group in the Spurs squad that have the potential to become truly world class, and that must surely be recognised by Levy. Trying to find a replacement central midfielder with the same mix of current ability and future potential will be a hell of a lot more draining on Spurs’ resources than Bentaleb’s wage demands.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch