Wembley Stadium

Next Game

England v Slovenia

Saturday, 15 November 2014, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group E

Last Game

Estonia 0 - 1 England

Sunday, 12 October 2014, 17:00

European Qualifiers Group E

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

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!"

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

N

ever ceases to amaze me when ex players come out with comments like that. Clearly they have zero interest in the best interests of a club that provided them with a living to be making such idiotic and boorish comments as that. Shame on you Jimmy Case.

redman_inc1
Rodgers defends Balotelli

A

nd let me remind you, the first year City won the Premier League with Augero as their top goalscorer as well as scorer of the decisive goal on the last day of the season, he was pipped to the PFA Young Player Of The Year by.... Kyle Walker.

BlackSpider
Sergio Aguero: The Underrated Genius

W

ait, so now he can get injured when he's not on international duty? It's almost as if his previous injury could've happened at any time and being with the England squad had nothing to do with it.

sailingmagpie
New injury blow for Sturridge

Footer 365

Brendan Rodgers defends Liverpool striker Mario Balotelli

Brendan Rodgers has defended Mario Balotelli, saying: "He would have scored if Steven Caulker had not put it in."

Premier League: Late drama as Liverpool edge five-goal contest at QPR

Liverpool left Loftus Road with all three points following a remarkable finish to a meeting with QPR which ended 3-2.

Manchester United: Louis van Gaal has admitted he was 'stupid'

Louis van Gaal has admitted he was "stupid" to ask to be judged after three months at Manchester United.

Mail Box

Let's Face It, Liverpool Were Utter Dross

It's a reactive Monday morning Mailbox. Liverpool fans are getting pretty sodding worried, whilst we have the latest on the Southampton CRISIS. Plus, well done Michael Oliver...

Quick, What's Happening At Palace?

It looks like we might need to give a bit more coverage to Crystal Palace after one reader compiled the number of mentions for each club on F365. Plus, more complaining...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property