Once labeled the ‘next Zidane’ during his ill-fated time at White Hart Lane – the mercurial 24-year-old hasn’t quite lived up to the hype to date.
The Moroccan spent a lacklustre opening six months of the season on loan with Fulham from parent club QPR, shipping out to San Siro in January with Rene Meulensteen not appearing keen to keep him at Craven Cottage.
With a wealth of attacking midfielders already in the Rossoneri ranks, question marks abounded surrounding the Italian outfit's move for Taarabt’s services.
But his impact has already been felt by the struggling Serie A giants, who even in defeat to Napoli, bore witness to what the Fes native is capable of.
Clarence Seedorf opted to hand the ex-Spurs man a debut start at the notoriously hostile San Paolo – and after just seven minutes Taarabt had Milan on top.
Intercepting a Napoli pass in the defensive third, the Morocco international produced a bit of skill to beat a would-be tackler, burst through the centre of the park and placed a precise curling finish in the bottom right corner from 20 yards out.
He immediately wheeled away to make his way to the technical area – seeking out Seedorf and embracing his new coach, as if to thank the Dutchman for his faith.
Milan would go on to fall 3-1 as Gonzalo Higuain struck a brace for the Partenopei, but the Morocco international will be satisfied at having showed his quality so soon.
The Rossoneri are about to enter a busy period that includes a two-legged round of 16 Champions League tie with Atletico Madrid – so opportunities should be aplenty for the temperamental talent to continue proving himself in the near future.
Can Taarabt earn a permanent move to Milan in the coming months?
image: © wonker