Keith Downie, with Sky Sports, has tweeted out some details of the pending loan deal for Schalke midfielder Nabil Bentaleb.
Nabil Bentaleb’s loan deal will cost Newcastle £850,000. We understand they’ll pay all his wages for the duration of his loan spell from Schalke. Sky Germany telling us there’s an option to buy for £8.5m #NUFC
— Keith Downie (@SkySports_Keith) January 21, 2020
If these numbers are accurate, then this is an absolute bargain for the 25-year-old. If Bentaleb ends up not working out, then it’s cost Newcastle very little.
Schalke brought in Bentaleb for £17m just less than three years ago, so Newcastle could get the midfielder in for less than half that fee this summer.
There is some risk with the player’s reported disciplinary issues at Schalke that has seen him play just 2 reserve games all season. However, Steve Bruce is a very good man-manager, and we have a solid group of leaders in the squad.
Bentaleb will also be very motivated to get his career back on track. He’s very familiar with the Premier League, having come through the Tottenham Academy, so he’ll also count as homegrown.
One potential issue we see is the development of the Longstaff brothers. With Jonjo Shelvey and Isaac Hayden being Steve Bruce’s preferred midfield pairing, Sean and Matty haven’t seen as much time on the pitch as they need to develop. Adding Bentaleb to the mix will mean less game time for them.
Another issue could be if signing Bentaleb eliminates Miguel Almiron playing in a central role. The Paraguayan has thrived when playing through the midfield this season.
It seems his worst position is on the right, and with Allan Saint-Maximin back on the left and another midfielder in the squad, Miguel may be exiled to the right-wing for the rest of the season.
These are things that Steve Bruce will have to work through as this loan signing looks to be a certainty. Though, overall, we think Bentaleb is an astute addition to this squad.