Spurs boss was scared to sell talented ‘fruitcake’ to QPR
Harry Redknapp has described Adel Taarabt as “a bit of a fruitcake” who is yet to fulfil his potential or show his Championship form in the Premier League.
But the Spurs boss admits that he was “scared” to sell the maverick Moroccan to QPR last summer, and is expecting the enigmatic Rangers star to be on top of his game as he returns to White Hart Lane today.
“He’s a bit of a fruitcake,” said Redknapp. “In the summer they were talking about getting big money for him, but let’s be honest, now you’re probably not talking that sort of money.
“Taarabt has got unbelievable ability, but I think this year he’s found it a bit harder [than last season]. He’s got so much talent, it’s just whether his head’s right. When it’s right, beware, because he can really do things that are unbelievable.
“His skill is frightening, and he could be a great player. Maybe one day he will be. Either that or you’ll always be saying ‘well he could have been a great player’.
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“I didn’t really want to get rid of him to be honest. I was scared to let him go because I always felt that he could come back and haunt you or bite you.
“He’s got amazing ability. When he came here to Tottenham they called him the next Zidane. He isn’t in the same league as Zidane - he was a genius. But one day he could be up there, because he’s got that ability, and he could develop.
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“I went to QPR three or four times last year and he was brilliant - and I’ve seen him this year, and he’s not been so brilliant. But come Sunday I’m sure he’ll want to be brilliant again against us.”
Redknapp has revealed that the Spurs hierarchy were so concerned about allowing the talented Taarabt to leave that they inserted a big sell-on clause into his �1million move to QPR.
“The chairman got a big sell-on [in the deal] to let him go, because we felt he could go on and do something. We were always afraid that he would progress,” said Redknapp.
“Adel’s unpredictable but you’d like to have him, even if it was on the bench. He can come on and turn a game for you. He can do anything, believe you me.
“When he picks that ball up and runs at you, he’s got fantastic ability. And I liked him as a lad. He’s not a nasty boy, he’s a bit of a fruitcake but there’s nothing nasty about him.
“It was just the way he was really. He loved doing tricks and the simple thing was too simple for him. He always had to do something audacious.
“He’s complex, but a lot of the lads with that kind of ability can be. Di Canio was a genius and Paulo was complex, but he produced on the pitch every week at West Ham. He scored magnificent goals.
“Adel needs to get a consistency to 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.”
Follow me on Twitter @BenPearceSpurs