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Bentaleb celebrates with Paulinho after the Brazilian's goal.
Nabil Bentaleb was given a schooling on the subject of midfield play by the Premier League's foremost practitioners in the position this past Wednesday.
Though not alone in the Tottenham team in being outclassed by Manchester City, as a recent arrival to the first-team fold, it was a particular noteworthy experience in the teenager's ongoing learning curve.
With other midfield options returning to fitness, this writer had wondered pre-match if Tim Sherwood might decide to try someone different to Bentaleb for Hull following this chastening experience.
The Spurs boss' decision to stick with him spoke volumes about his faith in the young Frenchman.
As it was, Bentaleb's subsequent display demonstrated there is still clear room for development. However, he did show again that he is largely comfortable against this level of opposition, at least.
Once he settled following a slightly-fraught start, Bentaleb's passing was generally in keeping with his measured and tidy best of recent weeks—completing a solid 84 percent, as recorded by Squawka.com.
What Spurs will need to see more of was the way he asserted himself on occasion in dispossessing Hull.
Just prior to the half hour mark Bentaleb showed good urgency to win the ball and instigate an attack for his team. Ten minutes into the second half, a similar interception saw a Hull counter-attack nipped in the bud.
This ability to impose himself on opposition teams beyond his passing will be crucial to Bentaleb's progress. But also to the team as a whole, in a position that requires quality on both sides of the ball.
While it is clear Sherwood trusts the youngster, less certain is the manager's plans for his midfield moving forward.
The return of Paulinho from injury has given Sherwood a different kind of option in choosing how he sets up centrally in the position. Less involved than the absent Mousa Dembele has typically been, the Brazilian nonetheless showed his class in the second half against Hull.
His forward thinking played a part in his goal, and throughout the half ensured he was involved in many of Spurs' more dangerous attacks. Sherwood must consider how to utilise Paulinho's threat in conjunction with those around him.