The club has described the move as a “loan from Schalke 04 for the rest of the season, with an option to make the deal permanent.” This confirms the suspicious reports out Algeria and France that suggested a loan to buy move for the midfielder. It is unclear the amount Newcastle will have to pay to make the move permanent, some supports have suggested a cut rate deal for 10m.
Bentaleb is a holding midfielder that brings the experience of 66 Premier League matches with Tottenham and 97 Bundesliga matches with Schalke to the club. Along the way, Bentaleb has accrued multiple Champions League appearances as well. Additionally, 25 year old has made 35 appearances for Algeria including appearances at a World Cup and two African Cup of nations.
Bentaleb typically operates as a box-to-box midfielder that has the ability to be an enforcer on the pitch as well as a deep lying play maker. Bentaleb brings the much needed skill of ball retention to Newcastle, a side who struggle to maintain possession after winning the ball. With Bentaleb here, Newcastle can hope to have a more fluid transition from defense to attack.
Steve Bruce was delighted to welcome Bentaleb to the team, as the Algerian international fills a need Bruce has been publicly advocating for. Bruce wanted a ball winning Central Midfielder, and it seems as if he got his guy.
Bruce had this to say about Bentaleb.
“He’s somebody who I paid particular attention to when he was at Spurs, when he broke through and got a big money move to Germany.
He’s played at the highest level now for the last four or five years but he will come in hungry and feeling he has something to prove and will give us the competition we obviously need.
With the numbers that we’ve got at the minute, he’s got a bit of experience and I think people will enjoy watching him play. He’ll come into the squad and I’m sure he’ll be a good acquisition for us.
The fact that he’s played in the Premier League before helps, because we know that he can play and knows what the demands of the Premier League are. He’s gone from the Premier League to Schalke and played in the Champions League as well, so we’re delighted to get him. It’s a great signing.”
The move was of course beneficial for the former Spurs player as he needed a fresh start and has been open about not feeling wanted by Schalke. The player seems excited about the prospect of playing in the Premier League again, and is excited to embark on a new journey with Newcastle.
Bentaleb had this to say about joining Newcastle.
“I’m very happy to come back to the Premier League, especially with a club such as Newcastle.
The project really interested me. I wanted absolutely to come back to the Premier League. The coach had some trust in me and the club also - I saw that straight away - and I think it’s the perfect move for me.”
For a more detailed look at Bentaleb be sure to check out our previous piece on Bentaleb and be sure to listen to Wednesday’s episode of CHN Radio as Greg and I will be doing a deep dive on him.