Pochettino reveals plans for two senior Tottenham players amid exit speculation
By Harvey Byrne
Mauricio Pochettino insists that Clinton N’Jie is still part of his plans at Tottenham, but has revealed Nabil Bentaleb has no future at White Hart Lane.
N’Jie, 23, moved to Spurs from Lyon last summer, but he struggled in his debut season in England and made just 15 appearances without scoring a single goal.
There were widespread report that the Cameroon forward could be part of a deal to bring Georges-Kevin N’Koudou to north London.
However, N’Jie has remained in the squad with N’Koudou talks still ongoing and the Argentine boss has said the former Lyon ace still has a role to play in his squad.
Pochettino revealed that the same does not apply to Algeria international Bentaleb.
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“They are still our players,” said Pochettino in a pre-match press conference ahead of the clash against Crystal Palace on Saturday, as quoted by talkSPORT.
“I think I have been clear that Bentaleb is not in my plan but N’Jie is in my squad and in my plan.”
This revelation follows claims from Sky Sports on their website that Lazio are interested in signing Bentaleb.
The 21-year-old joined Tottenham in 2012 and has played in 66 encounters for the north London club during his four-year stay.
However, the combative midfielder made just five Spurs starts in an injury-hit campaign last season after falling behind Eric Dier, Mousa Dembele and Ryan Mason even when fit. He was not played for the club since February.
Pochettino has subsequently signed Victor Wanyama from former club Southampton to increase the competition for central midfield spots even further and one of the shining lights of the 2014-15 campaign is now set to head out of White Hart Lane.
Both N’Jie and Bentaleb failed to make the 18-man match day squad in Tottenham’s season opener against Everton on the weekend, with youngsters Cameron Carter-Vickers, Joshua Onomah and Harry Winks in the side ahead of the duo.
In other Tottenham team news, imminent new Crystal Palace signing Christian Benteke will not play against Spurs on Saturday.