Harry Redknapp has branded Adel Taarabt a "fruitcake", but the Tottenham manager still thinks the controversial QPR midfielder has the potential to live up to the "next Zidane" tag he was given upon signing for Spurs four years ago.
Taarabt, who like Zidane has northern African roots but grew up in France, arrived at Tottenham as a 17-year-old from Lens, but he failed to make an impression at the club despite the hype that surrounded his signing. Redknapp opted to sell him to the Loftus Road club on a permanent basis for around £1million in August last year.
Despite some of the problems he has caused R's boss Warnock off the pitch, Redknapp is in no doubt about the youngster's capability on it. He said: "He is a bit of a fruitcake but he's got amazing ability."
Following his move across London, Taarabt excelled in the npower Championship, racking up 19 goals to help Neil Warnock's team achieve promotion to the Barclays Premier League.
The 22-year-old has proved a controversial figure during his team at Loftus Road. He has fallen out with the club's hierarchy on a number of occasions over several issues and has regularly talked up rumours of him leaving for some of Europe's top teams.
Redknapp added: "When he came here they called him the next Zidane. He isn't in the same league as Zidane. He (Zidane) was a genius. But one day Taarabt could be up there, because he's got that ability, and he could develop.
"He can play anywhere, he's got that much talent, it's just whether his head is right."
Redknapp only reluctantly agreed to sell Taarabt after becoming frustrated with the player for his persistent desire to show off on the pitch. The Spurs boss is convinced Taarabt will be doing all he can to show him what he missed out on Sunday when QPR come to White Hart Lane.
"It was a difficult one really with Adel," Redknapp said. "I didn't really want to get rid of him to be honest with you. I was scared to let him go because I always felt that he could come back and haunt you, or bite you.
"His skill is frightening, and he could be a great player. If his head's right then he can be brilliant. Come Sunday I'm sure he'll want to be brilliant again."