Why Adel Taarabt is not what Manchester United need

Adel Taarabt

Manchester United have been linked today with signing Adel Taarabt from QPR to replace Nani.

Adel Taarabt is a big talent, of that there is no doubt, he showed that in the Championship in 2010/11 where he scored a superb 19 goals in the division.

Since returning to the Premier League the 23-year-old has shown promise, but been largely inconsistent. He has failed to become a 'matchwinner' as Harry Redknapp this week described him, on a regular basis, a fact born out by the fact QPR sit bottom of the table without a win this season.

Today Manchester United have been linked with a switch for the Moroccan, who was allowed to leave Tottenham by Redknapp permanently in 2010. 

Taarabt is an ambitious player, who has spoken of his regret at signing for Spurs, saying he wished he signed for Arsenal when he had the chance instead, and was the subject of interest from PSG a year ago.

There is every chance the 'interest' from Manchester United will spur him onto pick up his form, it's funny how a player can react when he knows there is a chance of a big move on the horizon.

But is he what United need? We aren't so sure, even if United are what he needs to take his game to the next level.

Several young talented players have failed at United over the years, because they moved too early, before they had the chance to become the finished article. See Obertan, Miller, Djemba-Djemba...

The flip side is, by United grabbing him for £10-12 million, they could save themselves money in the long run. The picked up Michael Carrick for £18 million in 2006 when two years earlier they could have had him for £6 million. Likewise Dimitar Berbatov they could have signed for £10 million two years prior to signing him for £30 million.

Yet the point is, United need the finished article. Old Trafford is an unforgiving place for a young player, that even £10 million on Taarabt now is a substantial risk. Paying twice the price down the line for a proven player is surely preferable than paying half for one who may flop badly.

Taarabt can go one of two ways. He drifts in and out of games, and United need a player who can control a match. Right now he is not that player on a consistent basis, and the Theatre of Dreams is not the ideal stage for him to fine-tune.

United already have two players who regularly flatter to deceive, who are badly inconsistent, and that is Ashley Young and Nani, two players who on their day can be excellent. Taarabt would simply be a third, and arguably a weaker third option, rather than an upgrade.

Watching him week in and week out in the Premier League, he is not there yet. He likes to play centrally too, in a role which would be occupied by Shinji Kagawa when fit, which would also limit his chances.

All of the above is not to say he won't be a success if the transfer happens, but there is a good chance he won't be, and for that reason, United need a more dependable option. 

Needless to add, the type of midfielder United need is not an attacking playmaker, but a solid box-to-box or defensive midfielder in the Fellaini mould. Taarabt is not that player.

What do you think of the Taarabt rumours? A good or bad move?

image: © wonker

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