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Taarabt Departure Leaves QPR in Precarious Position

Tuesday 19th July 2011
With Neil Warnock rumored to have a transfer war chest of just £1.25m, despite the wealth of owner Bernie Ecclestone, the pending departure of their best performer from their promotion campaign will add fuel to the widely-held opinion that they are favourites for relegation. Taarabt spent the last 2 months of the 2008/09 season, and the full 2009/10 campaign at Loftus Road, doing enough for the Hoops to take him on a permanent deal last summer.

Taarabt was highly rated by Damien Comolli, who was instrumental in bringing him to Spurs from RC Lens, but the Moroccan playmaker struggled to make the breakthrough at White Hart Lane under both Juande Ramos and Harry Redknapp. He made just 13 first-team appearances for Spurs, all of the bench, and failed to find the net. But the move to QPR reignited his career. His season long loan saw him notch 7 goals and 5 assists, but it was this past season where he really set the Championship alight and made both Premier League and European clubs take notice, as well as causing Tottenham supporters to wonder why he was let go.

With a healthy diet of first-team action (43 of his 44 league appearances were starts), he thrived under Neil Warnock. His 19 goals were tied for third in the division, whilst his 16 assists led the Championship. But almost before the champagne was dried after Rangers's promotion celebrations, the player often accused of thinking too much of his own abilities was making noise about leaving QPR for a bigger and better club.

The young star has never been afraid to speak his mind, quitting Morocco after just 10 caps after being dropped for an African Nations Cup qualifier, and it now looks likely he will end up at newly-rich Paris Saint-Germain for around £10m. Warnock's position has looked unsteady this summer, with speculation surrounding his future, and the loss of his best player will put even more pressure on the manager to bring in the right players, while also being fiscally conservative.

Taarabt's exit would also leave a massive hole in the midfield, and would bring about a fundamental change in the tactics employed by Warnock, whose attack was based around the mercurial number seven. And with a lack of Premier League experience in the side at the moment, the loss of their talisman player will be seen as the exact opposite of what is needed to stave off the dreaded immediate return to the second tier. If Warnock is given Taarabt's fee to spend on new players, he could well improve the squad and build solid foundations for QPR's first season in the top flight since their relegation in 1996. But it seems that, so far, their transfer window seems to weaken a side already written off by many.
Andrew McCarten

Total articles: 10

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