Fulham and Newcastle United have both been linked with a January move for Schalke midfielder Nabil Bentaleb, but the Cottagers must avoid signing him.
The former Spurs man spent the second half of last season on loan with the Toon but struggled to have much impact whatsoever, averaging a disappointing 6.47 rating across his 12 appearances in the top-flight (per WhoScored).
His performances this season have been even worse, with the 26-year-old averaging a shocking 6.12 rating from his seven appearances in the Bundesliga so far this campaign.
The midfielder was dropped to Schalke’s U23 side last year for disciplinary reasons, whilst back in 2016, German newspaper Sports Bild (via Sport Witness) labelled the Algerian as a “slacker” and criticised his “arrogance”.
Therefore, it seems strange that Fulham may be considering a move for the 26-year-old, as he has clearly been a bad influence and a troublemaker at times during his spell with Schalke.
Since joining Die Königsblauen in a permanent deal in 2017, having spent the previous season on loan, he has managed just 105 appearances for the club, contributing 19 goals and nine assists (per Transfermarkt).
Whilst this isn’t the worst record, his transfer value in recent seasons has significantly decreased, suggesting that he is no longer the player he was in his early days with the Bundesliga side.
Fulham are arguably already well-stocked in central midfield, so adding the £3.6 million-rated Bentaleb would surely just give Scott Parker a selection headache.
As well as this, the 26-year-old’s contract with Schalke is set to expire at the end of the season, suggesting that it would also make no financial sense to sign him for a fee in January when they could potentially sign him on a free transfer at the end of the season.
Therefore, Tony Khan would do well to avoid signing Bentaleb, who earns €96k (£86k) per week at Schalke, in January, as there is very little to suggest that he would be a worthwhile addition to Parker’s squad.
And, in other news… one Fulham star badly let Scott Parker down against Manchester City…