Harry slams Taarabt – but says he could be QPR’s number 10

Harry Redknapp has launched another scathing attack on Adel Taarabt – but claims the “way out of shape” Morrocan could be given the number 10 role at QPR if he gets fit.

A year after West London Sport revealed that Taarabt, 25, had been sent home from Rangers’ pre-season trip to Devon, he was left out of the recent visit to Germany with Redknapp once again accusing him of being in poor condition.

The former Tottenham man spent the first half of last season on loan at Fulham, who quickly wanted rid of him, but impressed during a loan spell at AC Milan and expected to join them on a permanent basis this summer.

No move has so far materialised and Redknapp said: “I don’t think he’s close to going – he’s not trained.

“He would have come to Germany but the first day back training he wasn’t fit and he’s not been fit to train since.

“Then he said he was going to Milan, he told me he’d be going there but he hasn’t, so now what we need to do with him is get him fit.

Soccer - Pre-Season Friendly - Fulham v Parma - Craven Cottage
Taarabt failed to impress during a loan spell at Fulham.

“He’s got to train morning, noon and night, whether he stays here or goes somewhere else. The other lads went away and worked hard.

“I’ve got a lot of time for Adel. I like him as a lad. But he needs to get fit, work hard and get himself in shape. He’s way out of shape, in all honesty.”

Taarabt was the star of Rangers’ promotion-winning campaign of 2010-11 after being sold by Redknapp, who was then Spurs manager.

He produced a brief spell of excellent displays as the club managed to avoid relegation the following season under Mark Hughes.

But he generally flattered to deceive in the top flight and was quickly frozen out after Hughes was replaced by Redknapp, who has publicly criticised the player on a number of occasions and wanted him out of Loftus Road.

And yet with Redknapp now hunting a playmaker to operate in the so-called number 10 role – he is interested in ex-Tottenham star Rafael van der Vaart, among others – the R’s boss has claimed that he would look closer to home if Taarabt became an option.

Van der Vaart is one of several possible signings of interest to Redknapp.
Van der Vaart is one of several possible signings of interest to Redknapp.

“If Adel stays it’s a position he can play,” he said.

“He needs to get himself in shape like the other lads have done. If he does that, he’ll be a great asset to us I’m sure.

“He’s got fantastic ability and he’s still got a point to prove in the Premier League. He went to Fulham last year and it didn’t go well for him.

“He went to Milan and did great, and if he’s here he’ll be an asset but we need him fit and ready to play.”

Comparisons have been made between Taarabt and Paolo di Canio, who played under Redknapp at West Ham.

Di Canio had a bad-boy image before producing some of his best football when Redknapp was in charge at Upton Park.

But Redknapp said: “Di Canio was a great trainer, a fantastic professional and you’ve never seen someone in such great physical condition.

“Adel’s not that, I’m afraid, and he needs to do that before his career runs out.

“He’s got great ability but needs to get himself fit so he can run around for 90 minutes.”

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