Tottenham Hotspur’s Loss Is Schalke’s Gain: Why This Midfielder’s Potential Big-Money Move Makes Sense

Schalke might only be a struggling mid-table Bundesliga club at the moment, but one player who has risen above the rest of the squad is on-loan midfielder Nabil Bentaleb. Signed on loan from Tottenham Hotspur in the summer transfer window, Bentaleb recently picked up the rookie of the Hinrunde award. What’s more intriguing is that Bentaleb’s loan move could become permanent if he plays the next game against FC Cologne.

Having fallen down the pecking order at Tottenham, a loan move was the best he could get in the summer. Mauricio Pochettino has players like Mousa Dembele, Vincent Wanyama, Eric Dier, Christian Eriksen and even Harry Winks at his disposal, so it’s going to be hard for Bentaleb to get regular playing time next season. Keeping that in mind, it’s likely he’ll stay on at Gelsenkirchen.

The big question that arises is whether or not he’s worth the massive money Schalke will have to play for his services beyond the current campaign. The fee being quoted is £17.8million, something Schalke can afford even without Champions League football. For a player like Bentaleb, who is still only 22 and has shown enough quality to potentially become a household name in the coming years, it’s not the worst deal by any stretch of the imagination.

Granted, Bentaleb hasn’t been the most consistent of players, but his ability seems to complement what Markus Weinzierl is trying to implement at Die Konigsblauen. Schalke have been notorious for getting rid of managers too quickly and after a recent change in the club’s backroom where Christian Heidel took over from Horst Heldt and brought in Weinzierl, the first target should be stability. That also applies to the players they use on the pitch.

Bentaleb’s box to box ability was seen in the first half of the season as he plundered five goals and five assists to help his side overcome a horrific start to the season. He was initially criticised for his workrate but as the season wore on, he worked on that to become more of a team player. Possessing a trick or two up his sleeve, he knows how to get out of a tight situation, and his passing is pretty good for a central midfielder too.

Players like Johannes Geis, Nabil Bentaleb and Leon Goretzka are young but can be the future if the club can keep hold of them. Schalke are a sleeping giant in the Bundesliga and spending good money to ensure they get quality players is a statement they need to make. As for Tottenham, well, they won’t be all that displeased for getting a good fee for a player who wasn’t of much use to them. In short, it’s a good deal for all parties involved, if it does materialise.

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