Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has warned of the threat posed by Adel Taarabt ahead of the Europa League second leg between his side Manchester United and Benfica Lisbon, played on Thursday.
Adel Taarabt will be among the players in action for Benfica Lisbon at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium in Greece. The Maocain international has been seen as a lost cause on more than one occasion in his career, but reinvented himself in a midfield role where he thrived.
Speaking ahead of Thursday’s draw, the Spanish technician praised the 31-year-old for adding discipline to his game, recalling the talent he saw when he faced the Moroccan on the pitch as the latter played for Tottenham and Queens Park Rangers in the Premier League.
When asked if he remembers his duels with Taarabt, Arteta said: “Yes, he was playing as a No 10 and he was a super talented and very creative player. He had a very good season in the Premier League and it was very difficult to play against him ”.
“He’s a player with enormous talent. He changed his position a bit and with his discipline too. It’s nice to see him come back to play ”, he added.
Arteta expects another uphill battle and expects the same pitfalls to spring up on Thursday. ” They have a very aggressive bottom line and I don’t know if we can expect a three comeback or a four comeback tomorrow ”, he believes.
After having had a hard time, Taarabt feels he has found his place in Benfica and hopes to prove himself this season. “The Europa League is another step for me to show people the player I am today. I approach every game ready to fight for Benfica. To those who question my desire or my abilities, I tell them – look at me! “, he had recently declared.