Tottenham Hotspur Nabil Bentaleb will miss two upcoming African Cup of Nations qualifiers with Algeria later in November as he continues to recover from an ankle injury. Algeria manager Christian Gourcuff named his 23-man squad for the Fennec Foxes' upcoming international matches against Ethiopia on November 15 and Mali on November 19.
Bentaleb, as we know, declared for Algeria ahead of the World Cup, and he got major minutes in Brazil. Bentaleb not making Gourcuff's squad means, obviously, that he's not in the frame for Tottenham either, at least for the next two weeks. While it's obviously fantastic to have one of your young players be a starter in an international squad, I'm having a hard time being upset about this because 1) we want Bentaleb back healthy for Spurs as they enter the congested holiday fixture season, and 2) African Cup of Nations qualifiers are awful. Algeria are currently leading their group with four wins in four matches, so it's likely that Bentaleb will be off to Morocco in January.
Even when healthy, Bentaleb is probably behind all of Capoue, Mason, and possibly Benjamin Stambouli in the Spurs lineup, but it's never a bad thing to have lots of central midfielders, and Bentaleb is one of those young players that you want to keep in your back pocket. Here's hoping he heals up soon.