Sherwood hails Spurs debutant Bentaleb

Interim Tottenham manager Tim Sherwood had "no hesitation" in bringing teenager Nabil Bentaleb on in his side's 3-2 win at Southampton.

France Under-19 international Bentaleb made his Premier League debut when he replaced the injured Moussa Dembele with five minutes of the second half gone at St Mary's on Sunday.

Tottenham were level at 1-1 when the 19-year-old midfielder made his entrance, but went on to earn the three points in Sherwood's first top-flight game in charge following last week's dismissal of Andre Villas-Boas.

Bentaleb looked far from overawed at making his Premier League bow, but his mature performance came as no surprise to Sherwood - who worked with the former Lille youngster in his previous role as a youth coach at White Hart Lane.

However, the 44-year-old went on to indicate that Bentaleb may need to leave Tottenham on loan in order to further his development.

"There's a lot of these new players I don't even know, I've had three days training with them," said Sherwood.

"It's about knowing in the heat of battle, I need to know who I'm going to trust.

"I had no hesitation (in putting Bentaleb on). The kid is ready to play, whether he goes out on loan somewhere or plays for Tottenham.

"There's a lot of players in the way for him here, that's the problem with playing at a big club.

"(But) I wouldn't hesitate putting him in and I don't think he let anyone down. He was quick and cool, I knew what I was going to get - I was confident putting him on.

"I knew he wouldn't be fazed, not only his attitude, I mean he trains like every day is his last in the world. And he listens and he has got a fantastic attitude."


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