From QPR and Fulham outcast to Milan: Adel Taarabt

The Moroccan will complete a remarkable personal journey which has seen him leave a relegation battle in the Premier League to a former Serie A heavyweight.

There can be few Fulham fans who begrudge Adel Taarabt the opportunity to jump off board what could be a sinking ship at Craven Cottage and try his luck at one of the fashion capitals of the world - not to mention home to one of the most successful European teams ever - after joining AC Milan.

Likewise, his parent club QPR, were more than happy to sanction a second release this season with the Moroccan unlikely to play a long-term role in the future of the Loftus Road club.

Taarabt will now mix it with the similarly mercurial, albeit nonchalant, Mario Balotelli at the San Siro and joins Michael Essien in hopping from English top flight to the Italian equivalent in the January transfer window, attempting to revitalise a stalling career which saw him dropped for his sub-standard displays under Rene Meulensteen at Fulham.

Harry Redknapp does not want him back at QPR with Taarabt considered a disruptive influence and his loss of form at Fulham makes the move to Milan all the more startling.

Clarence Seedorf, the Rossoneri's new man in charge, has clearly seen something others simply haven't in Taarabt and has taken an almighty gamble in attempting to help the 24-year-old re-discover some of his flagging talent.

There have been suggestions Taarabt lost his focus at Fulham, perhaps becoming disillusioned with the managerial upheaval which saw Martin Jol leave the club and Meulensteen enter, with the club also suffering on the pitch.

Milan are hardly making the right headlines either, however, given the 28-point difference that separates them and league leaders Juventus. The seemingly irretrievable gap will not be mended overnight and nor will a dwindling Milan squad, but Taarabt's introduction should at least offer a breath of fresh air to Seedorf's men.

Taarabt has made just seven appearances in total during his ill-fated stay down by the River Thames and has contributed just the one goal, against League Two opposition in Burton Albion.

He had come to embody many of the Fulham team under Jol, playing very much on the periphery of matches and came and went from the team with a click of the Dutchman's fingers. File Bryan Ruiz under this section too.

One of Meulensteen's first acts has been to marginalise the outgoing midfielder, who has found first-team chances limited under the new man at the helm at Craven Cottage.

Five appearances is the sum total of Taarabt's work since Meulensteen's arrival and, crucially, he has completed 90 minutes on just one of those occasions.

Seedorf will be hoping to reap the rewards from a frustrated playmaker who is simply in need of a break from English football and the pressures that have engulfed him every step of the way. 

image: © wonker

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