Midfielder Nabil Bentaleb insists he holds no regrets over his decision to leave Tottenham Hotspur for Schalke this summer, despite the contrasting fortunes of both clubs during the early stages of the 2016-17 campaign. The Algeria international, who made only five appearances last season amid persistent knee and ankle injuries, moved to Germany on an initial season-long loan deal in August after being informed he had no future at White Hart Lane under Mauricio Pochettino.
Such a move, which can be made permanent for a fee of £17m ($21.4m) next year, has not exactly been a resounding success thus far, with Schalke's 4-0 drubbing of Borussia Monchengladbach on Sunday (2 October) ending a disastrous run of five consecutive defeats under new manager Markus Weinzier. Spurs, meanwhile, head into the latest international break sitting second in the Premier League after winning five of their opening seven matches and ending Pep Guardiola's unbeaten start to life at Manchester City.
Despite that, however, Bentaleb evidently remains content with his decision. The 21-year-old has faced harsh criticism in certain sections of the German press of late over his perceived arrogance and a poor run of form, yet has nevertheless started seven straight matches for Die Knappen after being introduced as a second-half replacement during the opening day defeat at Eintracht Frankfurt.
"Even if Tottenham were on top of the league, I would not regret my transfer," he told Bild. "They believe in me at Schalke. I made this decision, and a few defeats won't change anything. We worked hard enough, in every match, in every training session. But we've made mistakes, and we need to cut them out.
"But we fight and I believe that's also the reason that the fans support us. I don't know that from England. If you lose there, nobody supports you in the stadium."
Schalke, who finished fifth in 2015-16, have fared noticeably better on the continent so far this term and currently top Europa League Group I after consecutive victories over Nice and Red Bull Salzburg. Weinzierl's side will also meet Nurnberg in the second round of the German Cup later this month after easing past sixth-tier outfit FC 08 Villingen 4-1. Their first match after the break is a trip to face FC Augsburg at the WWK Arena.