Ex-Tottenham midfielder Nabil Bentaleb has admitted that he should have been more patient with Mauricio Pochettino during his spell in north London but insists there aren't any hostilities between him and his former manager.
The France-born Algeria international first joined Spurs as a youth player in 2012 and quickly earned a reputation as a technically gifted midfielder while rising through their ranks, eventually making his first team debut against Southampton just one year after he joined.
A long-term ankle injury scuppered his development and eventually proved to be the catalyst for his move to German side Schalke 04 in 2016, with Bentaleb admitting that his youthful impatience caused him to become frustrated at White Hart Lane.
"I was young and when I came back from injuries, I wanted to play," Bentaleb told The Independent. "I was so hungry to play straight away, and so frustrated when I didn’t play.
"I wanted to play so bad that I had some arguments [with Pochettino]. I was a little bit frustrated, and I was learning basically. Being on the bench is a learning curve.
"I know I made mistakes. But they helped me learn, as a man. And they don’t stop me from sleeping at night. And if I was 24 right now, and I had been at Tottenham, I don’t think I would make the same mistakes."
Devastated about Bentaleb's transfer. Always thought he'd come back as an improved player & have a place in the squad. I liked him a lot. 😢— Eric (@EricYid) February 24, 2017
Bentaleb admitted that only recently he got back in contact with Pochettino for a long overdue catch-up, and he admitted that looking back on his time in north London he knows Pochettino only wanted what was best for him.
"We spoke to each other for a bit, it was really nice," he added. "I knew he wanted the best for me. I respect him for sure, I have no problem with him."
Bentaleb will return to England this week for his first game at a Premier League stadium since leaving the country three years ago, when Schalke take on reigning champions Manchester City in the Champions League knockout stages.
Domenico Tedesco's side strolled through the group stages, losing just one game to FC Porto, but their domestic form hasn't been able to get off the ground and they sit less than 10 points away from automatic relegation in the Bundesliga.