Jermaine Jenas: I thought Tottenham had signed the new Zinedine Zidane
By Will Butcher
Jermaine Jenas believed Tottenham had brought in the next Zinedine Zidane when Adel Taarabt moved to White Hart Lane.
Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, former Spurs midfielder Jenas claimed that Taarabt had showed such startling promise that comparison to footballing great Zidane were made.
But the 27-year-old’s career soon spiralled as he failed to match his technical skills with the work rate needed to be a leading playing.
Jenas, who has 21 England caps to his name after an injury-ravaged career, played with Taarabt at both Spurs and QPR but declared he had failed to live up to expectations.
“There was times at QPR I’d say to Taarabt: ‘I’m not doing your running, mate’,” Jenas said.
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“When he came to Spurs I thought we’d found Zidane, but all of a sudden something was just not right. He’d do things at silly times where he’d cost us.”
Taarabt, 27, signed for the North London outfit back in 2007 from French outfit Lens, but the Morocco international made just 16 league and cup appearances in three seasons for Spurs.
Taarabt was given his Premier League debut at just 18 years of age after showing plenty of promise, but failed to turn his potential into consistent top-flight talent.
During his three-year stay at Tottenham, Taarabt was loaned to London neighbours QPR before he made a permanent move to Loftus Road.
Since then, his career has continued to go down hill and is now plying his trade with Benfica’s reserve side despite an impressive loan spell with AC Milan.