Ex-QPR star Taarabt rejected Liverpool move due to love of London shisha bars
talkSPORT’s Darren Bent has revealed the bizarre reason as to why Adel Taarabt turned down a transfer to Liverpool.
The Moroccan’s silky skills dazzled the Premier League, with his most successful spell coming at QPR.
He was one of football’s most exciting prospects and was linked with a move away from the capital, with Liverpool said to be keen.
However, Taarabt opted not to complete a switch elsewhere in the country, with his former Tottenham and Fulham co-star Bent citing part of the London lifestyle as to why.
Speaking on his own experience of moving from the south to the north of England, he said: “I always said that I wanted to get as far away from London as possible so I could refocus on… even though I was top goal scorer in the second season, I had a tough time at Spurs.
“I wanted to go somewhere where I was fully focused on football and if you go to the north-east, that is all they care about, football, football, football. So for me it wasn’t an issue.
“I know some players who I played with, who I know really well that were playing in London, they had no interest whatsoever in leaving London.
“I’ll give you a prime example, Taarabt. Was on an absolute King’s ransom at QPR, thought he was on a bucket full of money. I think he was getting linked to a couple clubs up north, bigger clubs as well.
“I think Liverpool maybe were linked with him for a little bit clubs like that, and I said to him, ‘What are you thinking?’ He went, ‘I’m not leaving London, I don’t care how much’.
“I go, ‘Yeah but look at the size of the club’, and he was like, ‘Benty, no.’ This is what he said to me, he went, ‘Benty, everyday I train, I finish, [claps] King’s Road, shisha’. That’s what he said to me, ‘everyday’.
“I said, ‘But Liverpool, big club’, and he goes ‘Benty, I don’t want to leave London.'”
Bent was then asked if Taarabt would have moved if Liverpool had their training centre in London, and he simply replied: “Yeah.”
After eight-and-a-half years in the capital, Taarabt signed for Portuguese giants Benfica in 2015.
At the age of 34, he now features in the UEA Pro League for Dubai-based side Al Nasr.