Bentaleb wants regular Spurs starting spot

Nabil Bentaleb is determined to prove he deserves a place in Tottenham's starting line-up on merit this season.

The Algeria international broke into Spurs' starting XI under former boss Tim Sherwood last term, having played for the 45-year-old in the club's youth team.

Bentaleb impressed in the Premier League and subsequently featured for his country at the World Cup in Brazil.

However, Sherwood has since left the club and Mauricio Pochettino has been appointed head coach.

And Bentaleb is ready for the challenge of showing the new man he is worthy of a starting berth.

"One or two tried to say I was only in the team because Tim Sherwood knew me from the youth teams," Bentaleb is quoted as saying by the British press.

"If people think I am still that little kid, then that's up to them.

"But I have been to the World Cup and I am looking forward to improving even more at Tottenham under the new manager.

"This time last year I could never have dreamt I would go to the World Cup.

"My aim back then was just to try to get near the first team at Tottenham. But once you achieve one goal, you set yourself a new one - and everything I set myself last season, I achieved. And more.

"Now I want to keep improving at Tottenham and be a regular starter."

Bentaleb made 15 league appearances last season as Tottenham finished sixth.