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Saturday 08 June 2013

On this day: Tottenham take teenage sensation Taarabt

Looking back at Premier League history, we recall a 17-year-old Moroccan signing for Spurs

  • Adel Taarabt shone while on loan for Tottenham from Lens in the 2006/07 season

  • The 17-year-old scored for Spurs against Stevenage after signing a permanent deal

  • Taarabt appeared in the North London derby in the 2007/08 campaign

  • Taarabt moved to Championship side QPR in 2010 and helped them earn promotion

  • The Moroccan scored his first Barclays Premier League goal against Arsenal in 2012 rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.

On this day: 8 June 2007 - Tottenham agree Adel Taarabt deal

Tottenham Hotspur agreed to sign 17-year-old Adel Taarabt from Ligue 1 side Lens on a permanent transfer.

The France Under-18 international had joined the club on loan the previous January and, although he only appeared for the first team twice in those five months, made a sufficient  impression for the North London club to make his deal permanent.

"I did not expect Adel to break into the first-team group so early. We know that his talent is unbelievable"
Damien Comolli

“I did not expect Adel to break into the first-team group so early," sporting director Damien Comolli told the club's website. "We also know that his talent is unbelievable. We told him the first six months were for him to settle down and then we would take it from there.”

"After just a short time he came on against West Ham and changed the game before getting another chance at Chelsea. Physically he has become a lot stronger and fitter since joining and he needs to remain on that path. We are very happy he will be committing his future to us in making this move permanent."

Taarabt had drawn comparisons with Zinedine Zidane, scored on his first match after signing on a permanent basis in a pre-season friendly against Stevenage Borough and went on to make six appearances the next season.

After falling out of favour with Juande Ramos, and then restored to the first-team squad by Ramos’s successor Harry Redknapp, Taarabt was loaned to Queens Park Rangers in the Championship in March 2009. He made a promising start, only for a knee injury to bring his stay to a premature close.

After just nine Barclays Premier League appearances for Tottenham, Taarabt, now a Morocco international, left White Hart Lane for QPR in a permanent summer move and was a hit, scoring 19 goals in 44 league appearances as Neil Warnock’s charges won promotion to the top flight.

Taarabt scored his first Barclays Premier League goal in a 2-1 victory over Arsenal on 31 March 2012 and helped QPR avoid relegation on the last day of the campaign despite a 3-2 defeat by title-clinching Manchester City.

His goal return improved in the 2012/13 campaign, with five in 31 top-flight appearances, but Taarabt could not prevent QPR’s relegation to the Championship.

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Key Points

  • looks back through the annals of history of the competition
  • A memorable event or match from each day of the year will be selected
  • We remember Tottenham signing Adel Taarabt in 2007