Tottenham Hotspur‘s academy has always been widely regarded as one of the best in the country, with Harry Kane one fine example of what the Lilywhites’ youth set-up can produce.
But things haven’t always gone to plan for some youngsters.
Nabil Bentaleb was a promising midfield talent that eventually broke through under former manager Tim Sherwood, who was notably a huge admirer of the Algerian.
“I know Bentaleb, I know what he possesses. He trains like every day is the last day in the world and that’s a great trait to have for a young kid,” once claimed the now out-of-work boss.
But when Mauricio Pochettino took the reins in the dugout, Bentaleb soon found chances hard to come by, leading to football.london reporter Alasdair Gold once describing him as “inconsistent” to ChronicleLive.
The 6 foot 2 midfielder would register 66 appearances for the north Londoners over a four-year spell before his permanent departure in February 2017.
A pretty remarkable fee for a 21-year-old at the time and one that would soon be proven to be a masterstroke from chairman Daniel Levy, who seemingly robbed the Bundesliga side blind in this deal.
Bentaleb would fall out of favour at the Veltins-Arena due to disciplinary reasons before returning and then being axed again. He was technically part of the Schalke side that fatally oversaw relegation to the 2.Bundesliga in 2021.
In between his penultimate three seasons in Schalke colours, the former Spurs academy gem was sent to Newcastle United on loan, where after an initial glimpse of hope, he was quickly dismissed to be one of their many flops as one fan site compared his time at St James’ Park to Henri Saivet – who? exactly.
Still only 27, the Algeria international will be hoping to finally fulfil the promise he displayed in his very early days at Hotspur Way, though that ship may now have sailed with his transfer valuation estimated to be around a measly £2.7m, as per CIES Football Observatory.
That only goes to show that Levy and co offloaded him at just the right time because considering his age, he should be in the peak of his career, yet he’s gone from £16m signing to an utter disaster.