Chelsea, Arsenal & Liverpool Target Adel Taarabt: The One That Got Away

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Chelsea, Arsenal & Liverpool Target Adel Taarabt: The One That Got Away
Stu Forster/Getty Images

It seems that with every passing day in the transfer market, Adel Taarabt's transfer value increases.

Recent reports indicate that he has become a major target for Paris Saint-Germain, with the club bidding £13.5 million for his services.

Even if the deal doesn't go through, there is reportedly a great deal of interest in the attacking midfielder from Liverpool, Chelsea and Arsenal.

With Chamakh already at Arsenal, and Taarabt being close friends with Samir Nasri and a big admirer of Arsene Wenger, a move would certainly be possible if Arsenal made a bid for the player.

Yet, for Tottenham Hotspur fans like myself, such news must be depressing, or disappointing to say the least. Because for more than two seasons, Adel Taarabt was a Tottenham Hotspur player patiently waiting for his opportunity, before giving up on the club and moving to Queens Park Rangers.

Yes, for those whose memory might be a little weak, here's a little reminder: Adel Taarabt was actually signed to Tottenham on January 2, 2007, at the age of 17, with bags of potential and the hope that he might be the next big superstar for Tottenham.

Unfortunately, despite being promised regular playing time, Adel Taarabt would make only two substitute appearances in his first season with the club, and and would go on to make only seven league appearances over the next two seasons, at one point not even having a squad number.

He was loaned to QPR on March 13, 2009, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Some might argue that we've never had a need for a player like Taarabt. But such arguments are foolish.

On video evidence, it's clear that Taarabt is far more effective with ball at his feet than the likes of Lennon and Pienaar. With him and Bale starting on the wings for Tottenham, we likely would've had two of the best wingers in the Premier League.

Taarabt is also a very competent attacking midfielder. Currently, Tottenham are talking about bringing in Scott Parker, a central midfielder not particularly amazing at attacking or defending (but a solid all-around midfielder).

In Adel Taarabt however, we would've had a player who could play on the wings as well as serve as a solid backup to Modric and Van Der Vaart, and is miles ahead of Parker in the creativity department. Oh, and did I mention he's eight years younger too?

The biggest shame is that Redknapp and Tottenham have hardly learned from their mistakes. Bale represents one of the few times that Tottenham have given youth players a chance to show their worth.

Yet Bale is a clear exception to the rule.

Where he has succeeded in picking up playing time, many have failed. Off the top of my head, Naughton, Walker, Dos Santos, Rose, and of course Taarabt all represent quality players who have not been given the opportunity to prove their worth in a Tottenham jersey.

Yes, you can argue that our squad is too congested for any of those players to be given an opportunity to prove their worth. But isn't that the fault of management, rather than the players?

Why is it that teams like Arsenal, Liverpool, and Chelsea all consistently find ways to give their best young players playing time despite he fact that their squads are superior to ours, while only the very best youngsters manage to make it into our rotation?

Redknapp recently announced that he must sell four or five players before he can buy. Lucky for him, he's got at least seven players that should definitely move on.

Once he sells off some of the dead weight, he'll need to buy a couple of players or so to address Spurs' biggest weaknesses, but unless he wants more cases like Adel Taarabt, he'll need to figure out a way to start incorporating youth more regularly into his rotation.

Otherwise, Tottenham will continue to miss out on the brightest stars of tomorrow, and Taarabt won't be the only talent who got away. 

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