Redknapp however believes the 23-year-old has the ability to be as good as Zinedine Zidane and will surely see this as a second chance to get the very best out of the precocious talent.
"I didn’t really want to get rid of him to be honest. I was scared to let him go because I always thought he would come back to haunt me.’’
Those were the words of Harry Redknapp when speaking about the potential talent of Adel Taarabt. He has again reiterated his belief that letting Taarabt leave Tottenham in 2010 was not an ideal situation. Yet while he is not coming back to haunt him Redknapp now has the ability to work with him once again. The difference to now and then is Taarabt himself; in those years he has matured as a player and after a barnstorming season in the Championship he bedded himself in to the Premier League with a quiet campaign last season.
This year despite the obvious frailties of QPR Taarabt has arguably been their brightest spark which even led to him being linked with a move to Arsenal earlier in the month.
Rumours abounded that the appointment of his former Spurs boss spelt curtains for the Moroccan international after several reports of friction between the two at White Hart Lane but Redknapp ensures everyone that while Taarabt could occasionally be difficult he never had a serious problem with the precociously talented playmaker.
One thing for sure is that Redknapp rates Taarabt far too highly to let any old bugbears between the two get in the way of their working relationship. In October last year Redknapp spoke extremely highly of his new talisman:
‘‘When he came here [Tottenham] they called him the next Zidane. He isn’t in the same league as Zidane yet because he was a genius, but one day he could be up there because he’s got that ability. He’s complex but a lot of the lads with that ability can be. Di Canio was a genius but Paolo was complex. He produced on the pitch every week at West Ham... Adel has to get that consistency in his game and if he does that, he could be a top player and I’d like to see him do it because I like him as a boy."
Now Redknapp has a second crack with the divisive midfielder and can play a huge part in moulding Taarabt into the top player he thinks the 23-year-old can become.
image: © wonker