sport

Sherwood: Bentaleb must play

Former Tottenham Hotspur boss Tim Sherwood says that young midfielder Nabil Bentaleb needs to be playing regularly in order to continue his development.

The 19-year-old, who has been ever-present for Algeria at the World Cup this summer, was handed his Spurs debut by Sherwood last season and went on to make 20 appearances in all competitions.

Bentaleb has impressed in Brazil, helping Algeria to make history as they reached the knock-out stages of the tournament for the first time to set up a last-16 tie with Germany.

Despite previously representing France at Under-19s level, Bentaleb pledged his allegiances to Algeria earlier this year and Sherwood believes his style of play suits Vahid Halilhodzic's side.

In his column for The Independent, Sherwood wrote: "Nabil is not afraid of anyone. He is perfect for the way that Algeria play, with a pressing game.

"I tended to use him in a more defensive role, mainly because I knew I could trust him to do what I asked.

"But in his development at Spurs, he has always been a box-to-box midfielder and he has always scored goals in the junior age groups.

"He still needs to develop and is not the finished article yet, but in the future he could be that sort of goalscoring midfielder.

"If Mauricio Pochettino is looking for that sort of player, then Nabil is perfect. He has to play regularly, though, if his development is to continue."