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What the Transfer of Adel Taarabt Tells Us About AC Milan

Queens Park Rangers' Adel Taarabt reacts to his missed chance to score against Reading during their English Premier League soccer match at Loftus Road stadium, London, Sunday, Nov. 4, 2012. (AP Photo/Sang Tan)
Sang Tan/Associated Press
Matteo BonettiContributor IDecember 13, 2016

Shortly after his loan deal to Milan was concluded, former Fulham and QPR playmaker Adel Taarabt went on record to say that he was honored to play for the best club in the world.

It's unfortunate that the so-called best club in this galaxy was only a few weeks ago flirting with the possibility of being in the Serie A relegation zone.

This is how the season for Milan has panned out: a steady stream of disappointment under the Massimiliano Allegri era and newfound hope now that Clarence Seedorf is in charge.

The numbers don't lie, and Seedorf's two consecutive domestic wins since taking over have put Milan only five points away from a European place and given the fans something to cheer about.

Over the January transfer window, Milan brought in Japanese playmaker Keisuke Honda and sturdy French defender Adil Rami. Adding Adel Taarabt to the mix is one of the most puzzling moves we've seen since Amantino Mancini joined on loan from Inter.

The Moroccan international has been one of the most polarizing players in the Premier League since his fantastic season in the Championship with QPR, where he led the London based club to promotion.

Where will Taarabt find playing time at Milan?
Where will Taarabt find playing time at Milan?Sang Tan/Associated Press

Ever since then, he has been branded as a lazy player whose inconsistency is the main reason why he has never truly reached his potential. 

What the signing of Adel Taarabt tells us about the state of Milan is simple—in a world where lavish clubs in Europe have massively inflated the transfer market, the only way a team like the Rossoneri can hope to acquire world-class talent is if they reach in the bargain bin.

Take a look at some of Milan's signings in the past five yearsZlatan Ibrahimovic, Mario Balotelli, Robinho, Antonio Cassano and now Adel Taarabt.

There is one thing all of these players had in common—they were on the discount rack because of disciplinary issues with their former clubs, but under the right circumstance, they could have reached their full potential and stayed out of trouble.

All of them are mercurial talents who have disappointed plenty as well as dazzling crowds with sublime skill.

We haven't learned anything new from the Adel Taarabt signing.

All we've seen is a constant pattern of a club that's desperately trying to reach their glory years and knows that risk is the only way to potentially climb the summit.

Either a club like Milan grows them internally or they search for exactly these types of players knowing that they've been priced out from a complete package like Cristiano Ronaldo.

Going forward, it'll be hard to see where Taarabt fits in, especially since Riccardo Saponara is still in the plans and Stephan El Shaarawy will come back from injury.

Even in Clarence Seedorf's crazy 4-2-3-1 formation, there simply aren't enough spots for all of these players to get consistent playing time.

The real question will be if someone who has had disciplinary problems like Taarabt can stay content on the bench and not cause problems behind the scenes. With how the roster is shaping up, it's hard to see how the Moroccan can get in the starting XI.

 

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