Newcastle have completed the loan signing of Schalke midfielder Nabil Bentaleb – with the former Tottenham man revealing just what appealed to him about moving to St James’ Park.
The 25-year-old Algeria international will spend the rest of the season with the Magpies, who have an option to buy him – the fee is understood to be in the region of £8.5million – in the summer if he impresses head coach Steve Bruce.
And Bentaleb, who was on Tottenham’s books for four years before joining Schalke in 2016, had two factors for signing for the Magpies, as he explained: “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.”
Bentaleb made 66 appearances for Spurs before joining Schalke in what was initially a loan deal that was made permanent in 2017.
He has played 97 times, including in the Champions League, for the Bundesliga outfit, but has not done so since April last year with disciplinary issues and a knee problem taking him out of the first-team picture.
Newcastle head coach Steve Bruce said: “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.
“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.
“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.”
— Nabil Bentaleb (@nabilbentaleb42) January 21, 2020
Bentaleb tweeted: “Happy to join the @NUFC family very excited to be wearing the colours of such a historic club, and wish all the best to @s04 for the rest of the season!”