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Why Tottenham would be crazy to let Nabil Bentaleb go this summer

The talented midfielder has been linked with a move away.

Leicester's Marc Albrighton and Tottenham's Nabil BentalebLeicester's Marc Albrighton and Tottenham's Nabil Bentaleb

Recent reports – by the likes of the Daily Mail – have claimed that Nabil Bentaleb is on the radar of Napoli, but Tottenham should do all they can to keep him at White Hart Lane.

Last season could be described as a strange one for the Algerian, with his lack of involvement partially to do with injury but at times seemingly to do with something else altogether.

The 21-year old started the opening league game against Manchester United but didn’t fare particularly well, with injury woes soon adding to his problems and pushing him further from the first-team.

Southampton's James Ward-Prowse and Tottenham's Nabil Bentaleb in actionSouthampton's James Ward-Prowse and Tottenham's Nabil Bentaleb in action

He failed to reclaim a place once fit again however, and when he was overlooked for Europa League fixtures some began to question whether there had been a rift behind the scenes.

If there was, it’s been kept under wraps thus far and the talented youngster will be expected to report back once pre-season begins next month.

Despite his issues last term, his qualities must not be underestimated and the way in which he adapted to first-team football in the Premier League in the 2014-15 campaign at the tender age of 19 is testament to his talent.

Fiorentina's Dele Alli comes off for Nabil BentalebDele Alli comes off for Nabil Bentaleb

The Algerian international is undoubtedly one of Spurs’ most technically gifted players but his positional awareness has let him down at times.

Bentaleb has never looked too inclined towards the defensive side of the game and forcing him to take on that responsibility limits his qualities going forward.

The emergence of Eric Dier as a natural holding midfielder has lifted this burden and Bentaleb could thrive in a more box-to-box role alongside the England international.

Manchester City's Samir Nasri in action with Southampton's Victor WanyamaManchester City's Samir Nasri in action with Southampton's Victor Wanyama

Spurs have been linked with Victor Wanyama – as reported by the London Evening Standard – as they look to bring in cover for Dier and they have ready-made cover for Mousa Dembele in the form of Bentaleb.

The Algerian’s potential far outweighs that of Tom Carroll and Ryan Mason and if he can be convinced to stay and battle it out with Dembele for a starting spot – and Wanyama is added – Spurs will be well covered in central midfield.

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