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GOOD TIMES AHEAD

Posted on 23 March 2007  - 12:00

Chris Hughton predicts a future of great promise for young midfielder Adel Taarabt.

Chris Hughton predicts a future of great promise for young midfielder Adel Taarabt.The 17-year-old introduced himself to English football with a late cameo appearance at West Ham a few weeks ago and, with us trailing 3-2 at the time, he was able to make something of an impact by embarking on a mazy run and winning the free-kick from which Dimitar Berbatov levelled.

Of course, we went on to win the match through Paul Stalteri's late strike, but Adel's debut became a significant talking point among supporters.

"It was no surprise because one thing he has shown in the period of time he's been here is that he is a confident lad - and I mean that in a nice way," said Chris of the player who joined us from Lens in January.

"Adel is clever on the ball, prepared to take players on, whether training with the young reserve team group or us in the first team. There is no difference or fear in his game.

"Certainly we know that he is capable of doing something, it is about finding the right moments. He showed that when he came on at Upton Park with his touches on the ball and, of course, his involvement in the free-kick that allowed Berba to score.

"What we do forget at times though is that he is 17 years of age and for him to have any impact in the first team at such an age is testament to the quality he has.

"I think the lad has got a big future."