Carlo Ancelotti’s Everton and Dean Smith’s Aston Villa were both linked with the £8.5m midfielder before moving on loan to another Premier League side.
A report in The Times from early January claimed that Everton and Aston Villa were both offered the chance to sign Nabil Bentaleb.
However, the Schalke 04 midfielder and former Tottenham academy graduate has now officially linked up with another Premier League side in Newcastle United.
The 25-year-old will spend the rest of the season with the Magpies ahead of a potential permanent move in the summer for a reported £8.5million fee.
In our view, the Villans and the Toffees have dodged a bullet with regards to Bentaleb’s signature.
The Algeria international fell out of favour under Mauricio Pochettino before being first dropped to the Under-21s (ESPN) and then offloaded to Schalke, first on loan and then permanently.
By Bentaleb’s own admission, he had some arguments with the Argentine due to frustration in returning from an ankle injury and struggling to get back in the Spurs team, as per his interview with The Independent in February last year.
The player accepted that he should have been more patient and that he should have understood Pochettino’s decisions, stating that the experience proved a learning curve, and for a while he did well at Schalke.
Bentaleb has scored 19 goals in 97 games for Schalke but has not played for the Bundesliga club since April last year after being sent to train with the reserves due to disciplinary issues, with a knee injury also not making things better.
In addition, the report in The Times claimed that Crystal Palace were also linked with the midfielder – but they distanced themselves from him.
With Aston Villa currently battling Premier League relegation and the Toffees also currently in transition following a turbulent first half of the season which culminated in Marco Silva getting sacked, neither can take any chances with regards to anyone who may risk unsettling the dressing room.
Therefore, it is probably the safer option for neither to take on a player who has twice fallen out of favour and been dropped to the reserves during his career.