Adel Taarabt: "I'm the Moroccan Balotelli" - But is he worth another chance?

Adel Taarabt

New Milan playmaker Adel Taarabt, who has turned out for Spurs, QPR and Fulham, could be about to realise his potential alongside another mercurial talent

The Moroccan has failed to find a home for his talent despite a hugely promising 2010-11 season that saw QPR achieve promotion to the Premier League. The belief was that if Taarabt could be a consistent success in the super aggressive and competitive Championship, then he had learned the lessons he failed to in his Tottenham days.

These were questions of fitness, of attitude, work rate and positional adherence.

Yet sadly, many of these doubts still remain. 

This season Taarabt made just 16 appearances for Fulham, scoring just one goal, and depending on how you look at it, played his part in the dismissal of Martin Jol by his lack of playing a part for the Cottagers.

But after escaping his Fulham nightmare only to wind up at glamorous AC Milan, Taarabt has been been more than happy to wax lyrical about his own ability.

"I thought 'they've got the Italian Balotelli and now they're going to have the Balotelli of Morocco'," BBC Sport report him as saying.

"I can't wait to get to know Balotelli better and to become his friend."

There is no denying the undoubted ability of both Mario Balotelli and Adel Taarabt, though the two have often been portrayed as players whose attitude has got in the way of their success on the pitch.

Former Spurs and QPR player Taarabt was ridiculed some seasons ago for claiming both Real Madrid and Barcelona were keeping a watchful eye on him, while just a couple of years later he was rumoured to be on Milan's radar.

That he has ended up at one of the biggest clubs in the world, despite them being in a state of transition, adds some kind of validity to those earlier claims.

The fact is that players with the potential for footballing genius will always attract the interest of the top clubs in the world, regardless of misdemeanours or questions about their temperament, and that's because even the most unpredictable of players can mature to the degree they can function in a team, but you can never teach someone to possess outrageous confidence and the potential for pulling off things no one else would even consider.

"I haven't got a difficult character. Perhaps some find it hard to accept direct and sincere people," said Taarabt on accusations he will be a nuisance for new Milan boss Clarence Seedorf.

"I'm really the complete opposite. I like to joke and this can be misinterpreted."

Mario Balotelli has flouished since returning to a culture ready to put up with the possible nonsense that comes closely associated to him, scoring a remarkable 25 goals in 38 games. With the Italian still just 23, and Taarabt 24, there is more than enough time for both to find a more permanent home and begin to make waves for the right reason.

image: © wonker

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