Spurs boss: Bentaleb needs the time and patience that Ledley King had

12:19 07 April 2014

Nabil Bentaleb

Nabil Bentaleb


Tim Sherwood says Nabil Bentaleb needs the same time and patience that Ledley King got when he first broke into the side.

Ledley King in action for Tottenham in 2012Ledley King in action for Tottenham in 2012

Former captain and club legend King is the last player to come through Spurs’ youth system and become a permanent member of the first team for a number of years.

However, Sherwood has shown his faith in Bentaleb, fielding the 19-year-old in 19 of his 22 games in charge. And, as the Lilywhites prepare to host Sunderland in the Premier League tonight, he believes the Algeria international is only showing a small glimmer of his potential.

“He’s a good player,” said the head coach. “We did that when Ledley King first got into the side. He wasn’t the best player and he wasn’t expected to be.

“It comes in time when you develop. What you are seeing at the moment is nothing compared to what he can actually give after playing a few games.

“Kids need time. When you are throwing them into sides, they need time to develop. Everyone should take a step back and not expect too much, too early. He’s certainly got a good future ahead of him.”

Tom Carroll, 21, and Jake Livermore, 24, are both out on loan at QPR and Hull respectively, while Harry Kane, 20, has been on the fringes of Spurs’ first-team squad this season - and Sherwood also feels they have good careers ahead of them, if they are given a chance.

“Irrespective of whether I’m here or not, those players are Premier League footballers and deserve a chance to play at the highest level, whether it’s here or elsewhere,” said Sherwood.

“I think, given time and being brought through the right way with the right experienced players, they have certainly got a future in the Premier League and at a top club.

“I know what it is all about. I was developed at Watford. Giving someone the opportunity is not putting them on when the fourth official sticks the board up with four minutes on and say ‘change the game’. It’s not like that.

“You need to be put in and then brought out and get the opportunity to be poor. You need to be better and better again. You can’t write them off because they are not the best players [at the start]. You need to have equal opportunities.”

Spurs announced on Friday that King will be given a testimonial match at White Hart Lane on May 12, and Sherwood feels he is the best player to emerge out of Tottenham’s academy.

“It’s fantastic,” he said. “He’s a one-club man and I don’t think you will see too many of them in the future in the game.

“He’s the best home-grown player this club has ever produced - someone that has had some chronic injury problems. He was a freak of nature, Ledley. He hardly trained.

“I saw his development from the start, I played in his debut and he was so calm and collected in possession. He knew when to speed it up, knew when to slow it down.

“He’s a real credit to this football club and he deserves all the support he gets from our supporters at the end of the season.”

Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs


Latest Sport Stories

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho

Former Tottenham and Chelsea midfielder Micky Hazard says Blues manager Jose Mourinho has lacked dignity this season and believes the Portuguese could benefit from showing greater humility.

Arsenal fans show their colours and support in the stands. Picture: Nick Potts/PA

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti suggests the sanctity of match-going is being replaced by passionate fan communities online.

Yesterday, 20:00
Mauricio Pochettino (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Harry Kane fired Tottenham into the knockout stages of the Europa League as they finally overcame stubborn Group J minnows Qarabag 1-0 in Baku.

Yesterday, 19:50
Maksim Medvedev of Qarabag challenged by Christian Eriksen  (Photo by Epsilon/Getty Images)

Spurs beat Qarabag 1-0 to qualify for the Europa League last 16 in Azerbaijan, here’s how we rated the players.

Yesterday, 18:36
Surrey winners of the Division 2 LV County Championship  (Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images)

English cricket will break with tradition in 2016 after the England and Wales Cricket Board announced a new rule which will see the forsaking of the toss.

Yesterday, 12:24
Haringey Borough manager Tom Loizou. Pic: Tony Gay

Jerome Martelli struck the decisive goal as Haringey Borough earned a crucial home win in Saturday’s basement battle against Heybridge and climbed out of the relegation zone in Ryman League Division One North.

Yesterday, 12:05
Andreas Sotiri scored a try in his first game for Haringey Rhinos. Pic: Tony Gay

Andreas Sotiri scored a try on his debut for Haringey Rhinos’ Under-14s as a side featuring a number of young players put in an encouraging performance, despite their defeat to Chingford.

Yesterday, 11:56
Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino

Baku, Azerbaijan. The Spurs squad are halfway through a 5,000-mile round trip and face FK Qarabag this evening just 64 hours prior to another London derby - Chelsea are the visitors for a midday kick-off on Sunday at White Hart Lane.

Most read sport

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder