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Algeria loses in AFCON quarters; Bentaleb returning to Spurs for Arsenal match


Clive Rose/Getty Images

GOOD NEWS, EVERYONE! At least, it's good news if you're a Tottenham Hotspur supporter who's not also a supporter of Algeria. The Ivory Coast defeated tournament favorites Algeria 3-1 this afternoon in the African Cup of Nations quarterfinals, sending Algeria crashing out of the competition. This means that Nabil Bentaleb will be returning to Tottenham imminently and may even be available to play in next weekend's North London Derby!

Algeria were considered one of the favorites to win AFCON this season, so it's undoubtedly a bitter disappointment for Nabil. It's fantastic news for Spurs fans, who have been dealing with a Nabil-Bentaleb-shaped hole in central midfield ever since he departed for Equatorial Guinea in December. It's unclear whether he'll be in Pochettino's plans for the match against Arsenal next Saturday, but at least we know he's still match fit.

Equatorial Guinea is only an hour's time difference from London, so there shouldn't be too much jet lag affecting young Bentaleb. Lord knows Spurs need Bentaleb to come back and be on his game quickly: with upcoming matches against Arsenal, at Liverpool, and two ties against Fiorentina coming up, he'll need to get sharp and quickly.

Welcome home, Nabil! Sorry we can't be too disappointed in your international team's failure to live up to expectations.