Mauricio Pochettino open to the idea of sending Bentaleb on loan to Benfica, suggest reports

Could the Algerian be set for a stint abroad?

Mauricio Pochettino open to the idea of sending Bentaleb on loan to Benfica, suggest reports
Bentaleb in pre-season training (photo: Getty Images)

Nabil Bentaleb could very well be spending the upcoming season on loan in Portugal, if reports in the Portuguese media are to be believed.

It's said that Benfica are prepared to enter discussions with Tottenham Hotspur over a season-long loan for the Algerian midfielder, discussions that Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino is very much open to. 

Bentaleb is way down the pecking order at Tottenham

Having broken into the Spurs team a couple of years ago, in midfielder partnership with Ryan Mason, Bentaleb saw his progression knocked last season, with a loss of form and fitness meaning he slid down the pecking order in centre-midfield, making just 11 first-team appearances last season.

Eric Dier and Moussa Dembele were the mainstay partnership for the majority of Tottenham's season and subsequent title challenge, an impressive pair that has only been added to by the summer signing of Victor Wanyama, from Southampton.

That leaves Bentaleb battling with the aforementioned Mason for a spot as the fourth choice centre-midfielder, and that's before you take Dele Alli's talents in the position into account. 

The fact that he's still only 21-years-old, and is contracted at White Hart Lane until 2020, means that Spurs are more open to a loan than to selling Bentaleb, who was left out of the squad that is currently on Tottenham's pre-season tour to Australia. 

Could a move to Benfica be the best for all parties?

Benfica are in need of midfield services after the sale of teenage prodigy Renato Sanches to Bayern Munich earlier this summer, and could look to buy Bentaleb following any potential loan spell, should it prove successful.

Bentaleb could be one of a number of names to leave the club in the coming weeks, with Clinton N'Jie, Alex Pritchard and Federico Fazio all having been linked with moves away. 

Sanches was sold to Munich earlier this summer
Sanches was sold to Munich earlier this summer