The Algerian international swapped Tottenham Hotspur for Schalke last season.
Schalke midfielder Nabil Bentaleb has been speaking to German newspaper Bild about his change of playing style since leaving Tottenham Hotspur.
The Algerian international initially moved to the Bundesliga in a loan deal, but he agreed a four-year contract earlier this year and he will be hoping to build on his impressive debut campaign next time out.
The most noteworthy aspect of the 22-year-old’s first year in Germany was his ability to find the net far more than he managed at Tottenham, ending last season with seven goals and six assists in 44 appearances.
When you consider Bentaleb only managed one goal in 66 outings for Tottenham, the change in fortune and form is clear for all to see, and he has acknowledged that it all started when he was encouraged to play further forward by then-manager Markus Weinzierl.
The 42-year-old has since been sacked by Schalke but before he left he inspired a transformation of sorts from the young midfielder.
“At Tottenham I played as a six and made very simple passes,” Bentaleb told Bild. “I was said to be safe.
“Only Markus Weinzierl told me…go to the box, get goals and make opportunities. So I should play more offensively, as an eight. I have added a new element to my game: the goal-scoring.”
When you consider Tottenham chairman Daniel Levy got a decent sum for Bentaleb this summer, and with Spurs possessing some of the best midfielders in the country, most fans may not feel bad watching the player scoring relatively regularly for Germany.
But one cannot help but wonder what might have happened if Mauricio Pochettino had encouraged Bentaleb’s attacking instincts as Weinzierl did last season; after all, he is still years away from his peak and in this inflated market, he could be worth a tidy sum in a year or two.
In other news, Mikel Arteta says £20m Arsenal player’s attitude has changed