QPR's return to the Premier League hasn't quite gone to plan so far. Despite bringing in Alex McCarthy, Maurizio Isla, Steven Caulker, Rio Ferdinand, Sandro, Leroy Fer, Jordon Mutch and Eduardo Vargas, Harry Redknapp has seen his side lose three of their first four games, conceding nine goals in the process.
The R's need all the help they can get at this stage, but playmaker Adel Taarabt continues to be on the fringes of the team. Back at Loftus Road after spending last season on loan at Fulham and then AC Milan, the Moroccan international was once a key part of QPR's side but has fallen by the wayside in recent years.
Now, Redknapp - who sold Taarabt to Rangers when he was Spurs manager - has called for the 25-year-old to get himself fit having suffered another injury setback, whilst also admitting concerns over the midfielder's weight.
"Adel’s twisted his ankle this week. We had him in training and after 15 minutes he had to limp off again so we’re back to square one with him," bemoaned Redknapp. "We just can’t get him fit. He keeps trying to come back on it and it’s going again. Do you rest him a few weeks?"
"But then while he’s resting, is he going to put on weight, how are you going to get him fit? It’s such a difficult job with him," he added. He needs to get his weight down and get it right so we get him fit to play. I’d like to have him available against Stoke as he’s got great ability. We’ve got to get him fit and he’s got to get himself fit. We all want him fit. If he does that he could be a big asset to us this year."
Taarabt hit 19 goals as he fired the club to the Premier League in the 2010/11 season, but has scored just seven goals for QPR since - and whilst his creative influence would be a welcome boost for QPR, he needs to prove that he wants to play for the club by managing his fitness better.