On Friday, news broke that Tottenham Hotspur youth academy product Nabil Bentaleb was told he had no future with the club and that he should start looking at options. This comes after Mauricio Pochettino left him, along with Federico Fazio, Alex Pritchard, and Clinton N’Jie, out of the team that travelled to Melbourne for the International Champions Cup.
Now, it looks like Bentaleb might have found a home, at least for the next season. Portuguese newspaper The Record is reporting that Bentaleb has been linked with a year-long loan with Benfica. The Record article is behind a paywall online, but you can get some details from footy blog InsideFutbol.
There aren’t many details here, which makes me suspicious that this may not be Bentaleb’s final destination in this window. After the ESPN story that reported that Bentaleb et al was told to find a new club, it doesn’t surprise me at all that his agent would be calling any club with a halfway decent record and asking if they’d be interested in Nabil.
Benfica is a very good club, but Nabil would face a ton of competition for minutes. Benfica are regular Champions League participants and won the Liga NOS last season. Benfica just sold Renato Sanches to Bayern Munich, so there’s theoretically an open position, but Ljubomir Fejsa is an established starter at defensive midfielder, and Nabil would face intense competition for matches from the likes of Andreas Samaris and Talisca. Bentaleb would need to do very well to get anything but a reserve role next season.
We’ll have to see if this story gets any traction.