For a moment there I though we might go through the 2013-14 Premier League season without Adel Taraabt.
Would’ve been a darn shame.
Fortunately, Fulham have came to our rescue – and Adel’s as well – as the West London club has completed the loan signing of the Moroccan playmaker from Queens Park Rangers.
For the Cottagers, snapping up Taraabt represents a major coup as one of the club’s biggest downfalls last year was the absence of a link play between the midfield and forward lines.
And we’re all familiar with Dimitar Berbatov’s famous advice: Keep calm and pass me the ball.
In Taraabt, Fulham have just that, a highly skilled link-up man who can both drive the attack and slip the cheeky pass that Berbatov craves.
Taraabt’s loan deal to Craven Cottage also represents a reunion with Martin Jol, who coached the attacking midfielder during his younger, more troubled days at at Tottenham Hotspur. After leaving Spurs in 2007, Jol examined the possibility of signing Taarabt when the Dutchman was the boss at Hamburg and Ajax, but a deal was never completed.
Now, six years removed from their time at White Hart Lane, Jol and Taraabt are reunited.
“I like his creativity,” Jol said following Monday night’s friendly draw with Real Betis. “Sometimes it comes off when he scores a lot of goals and I think he was involved in 40 goals [during QPR’s 2010-11 Championship promotion season].”
Jol also spoke about his skill in dealing with players commonly sited to have attitude quirks. “It is like [Fulham striker] Dimitar Berbatov – sometimes these fantastic talents will be blamed, but I hope to find a way to gel him in together with the boys we’ve got.”
Jol made no secret about the bottom line with Taraabt: “I think he can do a hell of a job for us because he is a tremendous player on the ball.”
Few will take issue with Taraabt’s other-worldly skill and if Jol can gel him with the rest of the squad, the Moroccan could be exactly what the Cottagers need to improve on last year’s 12th place finish.
Taarabt is Jol’s sixth signing this summer after moves for goalkeeper Maarten Stekelenburg, defenders Sascha Riether and Fernando Amorebieta, midfielder Derek Boateng and forward Ange-Freddy Plumain.