Aviva Stadium

Next Game

Rep Ire v England

Sunday, 07 June 2015, 13:00

International Match

Last Game

Italy 1 - 1 England

Tuesday, 31 March 2015, 19:45

International Match

France dilemma for Bentaleb

Tim Sherwood reckons Nabil Bentaleb could be called up to France's World Cup squad, dashing any hope of seeing the player turn out for England.

Last Updated: 30/01/14 at 11:40 Post Comment

Nabil Bentaleb: Could be called up to join France national squad

Nabil Bentaleb: Could be called up to join France national squad

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Sherwood took many by surprise when he handed Bentaleb his Tottenham debut last month, but the 19-year-old, who worked under the current Spurs boss when he was in charge of the development team, has hit the ground running and is now considered a first-team regular.

Bentaleb has been so impressive that he has been mentioned as a possible England player of the future, even though he would not be eligible for the Three Lions for another three years as he was born across the English Channel.

Bentaleb joined Tottenham in 2012 after unsuccessful trials with Lille, where he was born, Dunkerque and Belgian side Mouscron.

The midfielder has represented France at Under-19 level, though, and Sherwood believes Les Bleus could come calling for the player in the run up to the World Cup.

"If he carries on the way he is at the moment, he'll be knocking at the door for the French World Cup squad," the Tottenham manager said.

"He's got to make a decision. I'm not sure how much love the French are showing him now.

"He was in the wilderness. The French would have had to come and scout our Under-21s before, but now he's not in the wilderness and everyone is starting to know about him.

"He's performing regularly and if the English are serious about it, it probably could be an arm wrestle between them and the French.

"I haven't had a close look at who the French have got (in that position), but Nabil is a good player."

The idea of a foreign-born player representing England does not sit well with some people.

That much was clear last summer when Jack Wilshere questioned the idea of Manchester United forward Adnan Januzaj donning the Three Lions.

"If you live in England for five years, it doesn't make you English," the Arsenal midfielder said, sparking a debate over the FIFA rule which states a player must spend half a decade in a country before he is eligible to represent his adopted nation.

Even though Bentaleb was born in France, Sherwood does not think the midfielder would feel out of place in the England camp.

"He's blatantly French but to be fair, I only said to him recently in the development squad that I had never heard him speak French," the 44-year-old said.

"It's only in the last few weeks that I've heard him speak French for the first time. I called him on it because I had thought he was from Harlow (in Essex) or somewhere!"

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ow is the time for Allardyce to finally get a chance at a big club please. He is likely to have a number of great offers for his services this summer, but who will he choose? Will it be Liverpool, Real Madrid, Dortmund or Man City?

medina_sod
Allardyce leaves West Ham

I

thought exactly this when the Match of the Day pundits were peddling this line. Is it really not okay for fans of a club to have some ambition these days then?

damoceltic
Bored Of Big Sam? It's Your Right...

H

ow magnanimous off him - to leave if he's asked to by the owners? What's the alternative, bunker down in his office claiming squatter's rights if FSG want rid?

feed the bear
Rodgers: I'll go if owners want

Footer 365

Rafael Benitez '99 per cent' certain to be next Real Madrid boss

Rafael Benitez is '99 per cent' certain to be Real Madrid boss, says Carlo Ancelotti's representative Ernesto Bronzetti.

Middlesbrough 0-2 Norwich: Cameron Jerome and Nathan Redmond strike as Canaries seal immediate return to Premier League

Norwich City gained promotion to the Premier League with a 2-0 victory over Middlesbrough in the Championship play-off final at Wembley.

Yaya Toure will stay at Manchester City, insists agent Dimitri Seluk

Yaya Toure will stay at Manchester City, according to his agent.

Mail Box

Reviewing Every PL Side's Season...

Time to half-heartedly agree or furiously reject some ratings. The mails also discuss the most complete striker ever in football, as well as Rodgers, Falcao and Bill O'Herilhy.

Can We Combine Danny And Theo?

The finishing of Theo Walcott and the hold-up play of Danny Welbeck would be just perfect. Plus, lots of Brendan Rodgers, some Big Sam and all hail Degsy...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company