Treading water: This Tottenham midfielder is biggest disappointment of 2016 (not Sissoko)
COMMENT By Harvey Byrne
Football Insider names Tottenham’s biggest disappointment of 2016.
Nabil Bentaleb is Tottenham’s biggest disappointment for the calendar year, beating the likes of Moussa Sissoko, Clinton N’Jie, Vincent Janssen and Tom Carroll to the crown.
The now 22-year-old midfielder made the switch to White Hart Lane from Dunkerque in 2012.
He was considered a bright young prospect and broke into the team just a year later under Tim Sherwood, playing 20 times in all competitions for the north London side in the 2013-14 campaign.
His run in the team didn’t end with Sherwood’s departure either and he featured in 35 matches in all competitions in the next campaign, which marked Mauricio Pochettino’s first in charge.
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The Algeria international was appearing to rise at a quick rate and many had high hopes for him, forcing Tottenham to hand the player a new five-year contract in July 2015.
However, the new deal seemingly saw Bentaleb rest on his laurels at the club.
He featured in the club’s first four league matches of the 2015-16 season, but after the Everton 0-0 draw on August 29, he did not feature again until a Europa League clash against Monaco on December 10.
The combative midfielder entered 2016 in poor circumstances for the club, which continued all the way to the summer, playing just six times for Spurs in the second half of the season.
This marked a poor return for a player, who was once considered by fans as a potential star of the north London side’s team.
Bentaleb has since joined Bundesliga side Schalke in the summer on loan, where he has starred in the number 10 role with five goals and two assists in 20 appearances.
However, it remains to be seen whether the once bright prospect still has a future at Tottenham, who are currently blessed in the attacking midfield position.
In other Tottenham news, Mauricio Pochettino has given the green light for trio to leave in January.