‘In France it is simple, he is considered as the new Zidane’.
With one statement Adel Taarabt’s agent at the time of his Spurs signing ensured he’d have an almost unattainable level of hype surrounding his career.
At the age of 28 and following spells at QPR, Fulham, Milan and Benfica we can all agree that he is not the second coming of Zizou.
But when he’s at his rouletting, nutmegging, ludicrously skillful best Taarabt is genuinely one of the most exciting footballers around.
And, whisper it quietly, he finally looks to be getting his career on track following years in the footballing wastelands.
Taarabt signed for Genoa last January, making six Serie A appearances at the tail end of their 2016/17 campaign.
But this season he’s been a different player.
He scored his first goal for Genoa in their 3-2 win against Cagliari at the weekend.
It came 1,275 days after his last top-flight goal, which was for Milan on 19 April 2014.
While it might be too early to call it a comeback, it’s definitely a start.
Taarabt’s last contribution for Genoa was a 90th minute red card against Inter on 24 September.
That might have seemed like a negative but the fact he’s caring enough to get sent off is, in a weird way, a sign of his improvement this season.
Long may it continue, minus the sending offs.