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Adel Taarabt has re-invented himself since leaving Spurs

Harry Redknapp’s time at Spurs marked the beginning of a new dawn at the club.

Under the former QPR manager, Spurs qualified for the Champions League and even made the quarter-finals, with the likes of Rafael van der Vaart and Luka Modric leading the charge.

Adel Taarabt, though, was one of those who missed out on the good times at White Hart Lane, moving on before things really kicked off.

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Often accused of wasting his talent, he is now re-inventing himself, incredibly, as a more defensive-minded, disciplined midfielder.

Let’s take a look at how he has fared since leaving north London…

Time at Tottenham

As per Transfermarkt, the Lilywhites paid £3.6m to French club Lens for his services after he had played two games in six months on loan at the north London outfit.

However, he would play just 13 more in the remaining three years he was still on their books.

It seemed that he just didn’t settle, and he joined QPR on loan in 2009.

They would eventually spent £1.08m on his services, as per Transfermarkt, when he joined them on a permanent basis.

QPR and beyond

It was at Loftus Road where he showed exactly what he is capable of.

During the 2009/10 season, he scored seven goals and provided 11 assists in 41 matches, but that was nothing compared to his haul in the following campaign. Starring from an attacking midfield role, he scored 19 times and racked up an astonishing 21 assists as the Rs earned promotion to the Premier League.

He was a regular across the next two seasons, but it soon went downhill.

Harry Redknapp accused him of being overweight, and said he was the worst professional he had ever seen – he was never going to last much longer.

After a loan spell at Fulham, he moved to Portuguese side Benfica on a short-term basis before they signed him on a free transfer. He made just seven appearances in his first spell, before joining Genoa on loan – he failed to rip up any trees there either.

After making just 10 appearances in all competitions for the Portuguese side in 2018/19, it looked like his career was already over at 30.

Where is he now?

What has happened this campaign is truly remarkable. Taarabt, known for his silky skills and technique, has now turned himself into a top-class defensive/central midfielder – he has already played 33 times this term.

The transformation has been incredible. In 2011/12 and 2012/13, the two full seasons he spent with QPR in the top flight, he averaged 0.8 and 0.9 tackles per game, per Whoscored. This term, he has managed 1.8 in the league and a huge 2.5 in the Europa League.

His dribbling ability is still there – he has 1.8 and three per match respectively – but he has coupled that with the ability to sit deep and adapt to the tactical system.

Are you surprised by Taarabt's transformation?

Yes

Yes

No

No

It is scarcely believable that he has gone through such a change, and he deserves credit for expanding his footballing repertoire.

Article title: Adel Taarabt has re-invented himself since leaving Spurs

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