If Lee Ryder’s latest Nabil Bentaleb claims are true, we should forget about a potential permanent deal and send him straight back to Schalke.
He writes that the Algerian’s current wage demands are an outrageous £80,000 per week, meaning we may have to make him our joint highest paid player alongside Jonjo Shelvey to keep him at St James’ Park.
If there was any indecision around whether we should pursue him or not, I hope this has made our mind up.
It’s been reported by German outlet BILD that our option to sign him for around £8.5m expires next week, and The Chronicle have today suggested that his salary could be a stumbling block – you’re not kidding!
Given how erratic his performances have been since arrived in January, I’d be wary of signing him full stop, never mind spending £8.5m and handing him a wage packet that could see him earn the best part of £4m per year.
Calling him a ‘flop’ may seem harsh when he’s played more than some of January loan arrivals have in years gone by, yet there’s been far more bad than good from the former Spurs man.
He was impressive in our 4-1 win at Bournemouth and looked slick in his second half cameo against West Ham. That’s about it though. His performances on the whole have been far from convincing.
Off the ball he doesn’t get about the pitch well enough and seems easily bypassed when opposition players run at him (making him a luxury alternative to Isaac Hayden) and on the ball he’s taken far too many risks, often giving it away in dangerous areas or lacking the discipline needed in that holding role.
He’s clearly got ability and can look good one his day, but he’s looked more of a liability who you wouldn’t trust in a midfield two at this level, making talk of his ‘£80,000’ demands seem ludicrous.
I don’t expect us to spend big this summer if a takeover fails, with COVID-19 impacting on budgets up and down the country, so a £8.5m move for Bentaleb now seems like a complete non starter if these really are his wage demands!