Tottenham Hotspur’s revival under Tim Sherwood – 16 points from 18 – owes much to Emmanuel Adebayor’s resurgence, with six goals since he was brought back from the wilderness. But the new head coach has also put faith in Nabil Bentaleb, picking the 19-year-old ahead of Lewis Holtby and Etienne Capoue, full Germany and France internationals respectively.
Bentaleb has started Spurs’ last three games in midfield, playing with skill and precocious nous, and Sherwood – who managed him with Spurs Under-21s – believes he will be a full international soon enough. This would most probably be with France, but could be with England if he waits long enough to qualify. Bentaleb has made just one international appearance so far, coming off the bench for France Under-19s in 2012.
“[Bentaleb] would have to wait a while for [qualification for England],” Sherwood said, “but if he carries on as he is then he would be knocking on the door for the French squad. He has to make a decision and I am not sure how much love the French have shown him until now. He has been in the wilderness, but now he is not. Everyone is starting to know about him and he has been performing regularly. He probably could be an arm-wrestle if the English are genuine about it.”