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Tim's praise for Nabil

23 December 2013|Tottenham Hotspur

Tim Sherwood paid tribute to Nabil Bentaleb after the young midfielder's impressive debut at Southampton.

Nabil entered the fray for injured Mousa Dembele just five minutes into the second half with the match poised at 1-1 at St Mary's.

Our latest Academy graduate to make his Spurs debut, Nabil, who only turned 19 last month, showed great maturity, skill and strength in the key central area as we went on to claim an important 3-2 win in the Premier League.

Nabil joined our Academy after a successful trial in January, 2012 and has gone from strength to strength, making 14 appearances for our Under-21s last season and captaining the team this time around.

He impressed enough to feature in first-team friendly action in pre-season, has been on the bench since and has now made the big breakthrough.

"He was excellent," said Tim, who has seen Nabil's development close hand. "I knew he wasn’t going to be fazed, he’s not that type.

"He trains every day as if it’s the last day in the world, he wants to improve and he listens.

"He’s a top player and ready to play. I knew he was ready. If I don’t think they (the youinger players) are ready, they won’t even be on the bench.

"I was convinced he wasn’t going to be fazed and give us a performance of energy and responsibility.

"At times, he was the one who took the sting out of the game, passed it back and to the side. I wouldn’t hesitate (to play him)."