Steve Bruce has told Newcastle United’s official website that he is confident new signing Nabil Bentaleb can be a “good acquisition” after the Toon confirmed the midfielder as the club’s first signing of the January window.
Bentaleb, 25, has joined Newcastle on a loan-to-buy deal until the end of the season. The Algeria international is believed to have the chance of making a move permanent come the summer, for a fee in the region of £10million.
Signed from Schalke, Bentaleb has experience of the Premier League after coming through the ranks at Tottenham Hotpsur – clocking up 66 appearances for the north London side. Bruce claimed he paid attention to Bentaleb during his time at Spurs.
It remains to be seen if Newcastle will add to their first signing of the window, with Bentaleb coming in to beef up the options in the middle of the park. The Algerian has not played for Schalke this season, but Bruce says he will go straight into the side.
“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,” Bruce said. “He’s played at the highest level now for the last four or five years.
“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, he’s got a bit of experience. 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 he knows what the demands of the Premier League are. He’s gone from the Premier League to Schalke and played in the Champions League, so we’re delighted. It’s a great signing.”
Newcastle are expected to bring in a left-sided defender before the end of the window, given injuries to Paul Dummett and Jetro Willems – which are expected to keep them sidelined for the rest of the season. A winger and a striker could also be targeted.
Inter Milan star Valentino Lazaro has been heavily linked with Newcastle but it remains to be seen if a deal will go through. Bentaleb will not make his debut against Everton on Tuesday night, but could face Oxford United on Saturday in the FA Cup.