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

I

s that Subbuteo's Shaun Wright-Phillips? Crikey, I thought he'd retired. Although I guess 'Only' QPR is like a retirement home.

duckman
The Earl Grey Gossip

C

an we release him in January?

dhirt11
Gerrard: I would leave Anfield

E

xcellent! Not sure if he is any good as a manager (never thought about it) but the 'headbutt in the technical area' and what he said to Pelligrini were just brilliant, it was as if he was trying to recreate the end of the Alan Partridge Xmas special when Alan punched a man in a wheelchair and verbally abused Tony Heirs.

beachend
Football Managers On TV: Alan Pardew

Footer 365

Jose Mourinho: My Chelsea team is not perfect

Jose Mourinho says he is content with Chelsea’s current position across all fronts but insists they can still improve.

Premier League: European players are suffering the loss of street football says Arsenal boss

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes societal changes and the loss of street football has affected European players..

Premier League: Manuel Pellegrini denies being under pressure on eve of Manchester derby

Manuel Pellegrini has denied feeling the pressure from recent bad results as City prepare for Sunday's Manchester derby.

Mail Box

A Detailed Defence Of Alex Song And...

...lots more in a mailbox that takes in Manuel Pellegrini's woes, Steven Gerrard's future, Carlo Ancelotti, Alan Pardew and Alan Pardew's daughter. A fine read...

Is Ancelotti A Better Boss Than Mourinho?

That's one shout in the mailbox, although not as controversial as the mail imploring Jose Mourinho to sign Steven Gerrard in January so he can win the title he deserves...

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