After making his first team breakthrough in 2013-14, Nabil Bentaleb cemented himself as a key member of our squad last term.
Having competed at the 2014 World Cup finals with Algeria, the hard-working central midfielder was a regular starter for us in the Premier League and netted his first senior goal in our 4-0 win over Newcastle United in the fifth round of the Capital One Cup in December.
He was instrumental in our memorable domestic victories against Chelsea and Arsenal in early 2015 – having played for Algeria at the Africa Cup of Nations in between those matches – and earned praise for his committed performance as we met Chelsea again in the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley on March 1.
He ended the campaign with 35 appearances in all competitions to his name and now, with the start of pre-season training fast approaching, Nabil says he’s looking forward to the period of hard graft ahead – and expects himself to thrive in that environment...
Thoughts on the season overall?
Some of us were disappointed but at the end of it all we realised we’d had a good season having finished fifth in the league and reached a cup final as well. We had a new Head Coach in his first year at the Club and we’ve been adapting to his new way of working and style of play.
Your personal highlight of the season?
The win against Chelsea in the league on New Year’s Day, but also the Capital One Cup Final against them. Even though we lost, it was still an amazing experience to play at Wembley in a big final like that.
Plans for the summer?
Resting for a few days, although I don’t really allow myself to rest that much to be honest! The coaches gave us a summer programme to work on but I told them I wouldn’t need it because I’m staying fit anyway. I plan to train even harder and come back stronger.
Thoughts on pre-season?
It’s a tough part of the year but it’s really important. The fitness of the team is vital – you can see how it helped us in a few games last season with the team never giving up and fighting to the end. That won us a lot of points. Pre-season is about working hard and the players getting ready for the new campaign.
Hopes for next season?
To push on from last season. If we could win a trophy and qualify for the Champions League, that would be a big achievement. We know what it would mean to the fans and the Club.
Midfielder Tom Carroll answered ‘Five questions for summer’ over the weekend – catch up on his answers here and look out for tomorrow’s instalement with young full-back Kyle Walker-Peters...