Punt of the Week - Gameweek 15 - Adel Taarabt

Continuing the good run of punts for FPL Dugout, this week we go where most managers have been scared to tread. If you thought Benteke was bold we look right to the bottom of the Premier League this time, and without a win all season for this week’s punt, yes it’s probably the league’s most consistent under performer, it’s Queens Park Rangers’ Adel Taarabt.

Since Meshy captained him in gameweek one, the Moroccan has been a major fail in our fantasy squads. He missed the following 4 games to finally string back-to-back games from gameweek 6 onwards.

An assist and a goal in gameweek 6 and 7 gave managers much promise that Taarabt could continue his promising form from the end of the previous campaign. Since then only a solitary assist has seen plenty of fantasy managers ditch the attacking midfielder in search of better prospects but things may be looking up for the stuttering star.

The Potential

As I’ve just mentioned the stats don’t make for pretty reading. His starting price of a reasonable 6.0m has plummeted to a very reasonable 5.5m, and considering the likes of other “in the hole” midfielders, such as Nolan, Michu and Fellaini, are all nearly at least 1.5m more expensive; Taarabt provides plenty of value for those ready to take the gamble.

With Taarabt rekindling his relationship with former Tottenham boss Harry Redknapp, where he never really got in the side, Harry was forced to sell but has still had time to reiterate his liking for the playmaker.

“He wasn’t a player I wanted to sell,” he said. “He couldn’t get in the team at Tottenham. “I always felt he had the ability to become a top player. I’ve got to get the best out of him.”

Harry’s statement gives the 1.7% of fantasy managers that own him a sense of optimism and the fixture list is looking kind for Harry and Adel as the next six gameweeks look like this: AVL, wig, FUL, new, WBA, LIV.

Taarabt’s involvement at the business end of the pitch cannot be denied as he has some of the best creative stats in the game despite his measly return thus far. Surely a player Harry can love and hopefully help him finally realise his full potential.

The Risk

The risk section was made for a player like Taarabt. A player who has the potential to win a match at any ground, at any given time, but hasn’t.

Many managers have been and gone at Loftus Road, and all so far have failed to get the best out of Adel in the Premier League. Harry is a step up in class and has previous with Taarabt so he knows what’s he’s getting.

“I need 11 people with ability to put effort in. If they don’t they’re not going to play and I’ll get 11 who do.”

Taarabt, famed for his nonchalant style, could fall foul of this especially for those tricky away days where work rate will be key. Going back to the stats, just two goals and a single assist this season is really not good enough for someone of his ability, but whether this is down to the failure of others will remain to be seen.

The Verdict

A player with obvious quality who has flattered to deceive so far, under a new highly thought of manager who wants to get the best out of him, but so far has failed to deliver.

It’s the first home game with Harry at the helm against a side who are struggling at the moment in Aston Villa, despite two clean sheets in a row. Can they make it three? There’s a headline to be written somewhere and I wouldn’t be surprised if it was the Moroccan. Good or bad.