A number of Newcastle United fans are clearly hoping that Nabil Bentaleb was simply shaking off the cobwebs during his debut for the Magpies, with many seemingly underwhelmed by his display.
Steve Bruce’s men will need to book their place in the next round of the FA Cup in a replay after labouring to a goalless draw with Oxford United at St James’ Park.
The home side did have the ball in the net twice, but Joelinton was offside on both occasions. Bentaleb himself, did have an attempt on goal, but it was saved by Simon Eastwood.
It was a performance that prompted some of the Toon Army to boo their players off at full-time. And unfortunately, it appears that Bentaleb was amongst those they were disappointed with.
The midfielder became Newcastle’s first addition to the senior squad during the January transfer window. And it looked to be an ideal game for the Algeria international to get up to speed, particularly with Bruce naming such a strong side.
The 25-year-old has not played all season for Schalke’s first-team. And some of the supporters on social media felt that his lack of game-time showed on a tough afternoon.
Some were incredibly critical of Bentaleb’s performance. It has been suggested that he was appalling by one fan, while another claimed that his display deserved a rating of three out of 10.
Others were more impressed. Plenty have suggested that he did fairly well for a first game in some time. And one supporter actually claimed that they were impressed with the new arrival’s first outing.
Here is what some of the supporters made of Bentaleb’s performance…
Bentaleb brightest point of that game.#Nufc
— ThOmPsOn. (@garfbobt) January 25, 2020
Our centre midfield is just woeful, it must be one of the least energetic and creative in the league. Bentaleb for sure doesn’t look like an answer to that and both longstaff brothers just aren’t at the level yet, especially Sean, he’s far too slow on and off the ball. #nufc
— Mark Douglas (@markattias) January 25, 2020
— Tom Hadwin (@TomHadwin2) January 25, 2020
First game and all but Bentaleb was honestly appalling today.
— sam (@samcthii) January 25, 2020
Bentaleb was abit meh wasn’t he
— Keithy boy ?? ⚫⚪ (@BentalebsDa) January 25, 2020
Nabil Bentaleb has looked tidy today, but you’d like to see him move it forward a bit more, though. #NUFC
— Madrid Mag (@MadridMagpie) January 25, 2020
Bentaleb looked good today, especially considering he hasn’t played in a while and he’s just getting settled
— Rochinio (@Rochinio29) January 25, 2020