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The Morocco international spent last season away from Loftus Road but has been tipped to follow in the footsteps of the midfielder and become a star this season

Adel Taarabt will emulate Joey Barton and become a QPR star, according to chairman Tony Fernandes.

Taarabt's career at QPR has been mixed and the mercurial forward spent all of last season away from Loftus Road, initially joining Fulham on loan for the first half of the 2013-14 campaign before moving to AC Milan in January.

The Serie A giants were linked with a permanent deal for the Morocco international, but were unwilling to meet Taarabt's reported €7.5 million asking price.

With the transfer window now shut, Taarabt will remain with the London side and Fernandes has backed him to follow in the footsteps of midfielder Barton.

The 32-year-old left the club in acrimonious circumstances to join Marseille on loan in 2012-13, only to return and become a prominent member of the team that achieved promotion back to the Premier League last term.

"Like many people who wrote off Joey - and he was key for us last season - Adel is going to be something special," he told the Evening Standard.

"People have forgotten about him a little bit but he can do extraordinary things. At AC Milan last season he was quite special.

"I think Adel will be a surprise for many this season. He's focused and wants to stay at QPR. He can turn games around in a few minutes, so it's important to have him."

Taarabt has made two appearances for QPR this season, starting against Burton Albion in the League Cup before coming on as a late substitute in the 1-0 win over Sunderland in the Premier League last Saturday.


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