Newcastle played an intrasquad 11 vs. 11 today at St James Park, which ended 1-1 with goals from Joelinton and a beautiful long-range blast from Nabil Bentaleb.
The Shields Gazette have published some comments from the Algerian about the return to St James Park as well as what it was like to finally play in a match again.
This is what Nabil has to say:
“A little bit weird, I’m not going to lie, but it feels great playing 11 against 11. It was good. We’ve been working really hard lately. It was good to be back at St James’s. I think everybody is happy. We enjoyed. Hopefully, we’ll be ready.”
Here’s the thunderbolt of a strike from Bentaleb. Though the lads look a little rusty in the play preceding the goal, which we suppose is to be expected.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) June 6, 2020
Newcastle have yet to extend Bentaleb’s loan stay beyond June 30th. They’ve managed to agree to an extension with Inter Milan for Valentino Lazaro and are reportedly close with Tottenham and Danny Rose.
According to the Chronicle, Schalke are keen to extend Nabil’s loan stay on Tyneside as they remain hopeful Newcastle trigger his £8.5m purchase option.
The midfielder still has a lot to show before Newcastle will take up that option. A lot will also depend on whether the takeover saga comes to a positive conclusion.
All Bentaleb can do is work hard and try to prove he has what it takes to become a permanent member of the squad.