Tottenham Hotspur manager Harry Redknapp is set to give midfielder Adel Taarabt his chance to shine in a Spurs shirt, with the former Portsmouth boss claiming that the former Lens player is a “genius”.
19-year-old Taarabt was one of five players along with Hossam Ghaly, Paul Stalteri, Ricardo Rocha and Kevin-Prince Boateng that had been frozen out at White Hart Lane under previous manager Juande Ramos. Ramos even went as far as to not allocate any of the five a squad number at the start of the season and banned the players from using the first-team training facilities.
However, when Redknapp took charge at the Premier League club one of his first actions was to reinstate all five. Now Redknapp has revealed that Taarabt is set to get his chance at the North London club, with Tottenham playing Wigan Athletic in the FA Cup on Friday and then the first leg of their Carling Cup semi-final against Burnley next week. As Redknapp looks to utilise his full squad and rest key players for the more crucial tie with the Clarets, where victory over the two legs would guarantee Spurs UEFA Cup football again next year, should they meet Manchester United in the final at Wembley.
“If we can get him playing he is a genius,” Redknapp said.
“He's an amazing talent, I've not seen too many with that type of skill in my life. It's frightening.
“It's a case of trying to find a position for him and getting him fit enough to play. Getting him to do a bit when he hasn't got the ball - but he's only a kid.
“This is a real talent. A match-winner. So I'm sure we're going to see a bit of him in the next couple of weeks.”
This support from Redknapp will come as a boost to Taarabt, who despite being at Tottenham since 2007 has only featured in 8 Premiership games for Spurs and had been widely expected to be amongst the players leaving White Hart Lane this month.