With Jonjo Shelvey out injured, Nabil Bentaleb made his first Premier League start since joining Newcastle United on loan.

The midfielder was paired with Isaac Hayden, having played with Sean Longstaff on his debut against Oxford last week.

There was pressure on Bentaleb to create things and move the ball from the centre of the park, but some fans weren’t impressed with the Algerian.

(Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images)

He was pretty neat in possession all game, moving it from right to left, rarely dawdling with the ball at his feet. However, a lot of what he did lacked purpose.

The longer the game went, the deeper Bentaleb got. He spent most of the second half sat on top of the centre-backs. And when he did step forward, the Norwich midfielders easily played through him.

It’s clear that this is a guy who hasn’t played a lot of football. His injury problems have been well documented, but he’s now played 170 of a possible 180 minutes from his opening two games.

We saw glimpses of his talents but, on a bad day for the Magpies, Bentaleb struggled to cement a place in Newcastle’s midfield.

(Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Tough afternoon for Bentaleb

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