Nabil Bentaleb has expressed his disappointment following his suspension from Schalke 04's first-team without any reason from the club.
The Royal Blues were forced to take make tough decisions as a result of their poor winless run in the Bundesliga since January, with Bentaleb and Morocco playmaker Amine Harit ordered to train individually until further notice and Vedad Ibisevic's contract has been cut short to expire at the end of the year.
Bentaleb who has been at Schalke since 2016, took to social media to share his recent struggles at the Veltins-Arena and he appreciated the support he has received from the Algeria Football Federation and Desert Foxes coach Djamel Belmadi.
“A lot of things have been said or written during these last few hours regarding my situation at Schalke 04,” Bentaleb said in a statement.
“In spite of a particular sports environment and disappointing results during this season, I would like to remind everyone that I stayed professional in all circumstances. I learned with great surprise and disappointment my exclusion from the professional group without any credible justification whatsoever. Furthermore, I endured some mean criticisms, borderline racists, from a particular press and some wannabee consultants more interested by virtual glory than real journalism.
“Fortunately, those persons represent only themselves. I would like to thank the Algerian head coach, Djamel Belmadi, the Algerian Federation of Football, and some players and supporters for their kind words and support through all of this. Because we are always stronger when united, there will be no room for racism nor any type of discrimination.”
Over the weekend, former Germany international Steffen Freund suggested that the suspended African stars were not giving their best for the club because of their roots.
Freund has apologised for his remarks on Sport 1 broadcast and Schalke 04 have also distanced themselves from such comments.
“Anyone who knows a little about me and my career as a player and as a coach knows that I deeply detest all forms of racism. Of course, neither skin colour, belief or origin are decisive for a player's performance in training and on the pitch,” the former Schalke 04 and Tottenham Hotspur player tweeted.
“Nobody is more annoyed than me that I, unfortunately, expressed myself in such a misleading way on the live broadcast. I would like to sincerely apologise for this.”
“The pause for thought for Harit and Bentaleb has nothing to do with their roots! For us that has basically nothing to do with that," the club tweeted.
Schalke 04 are at the bottom of the Bundesliga table with just three points after nine games and their last league win dates back to January 17 when they defeated Borussia Monchengladbach 2-0 at home.