If you’re shipped out on loan after just five months at a new club, something’s not right, and Mauro Zarate isn’t covering himself in glory while at QPR.
The Argentine signed a six-month loan deal with the Premier League strugglers in January after failing to cement his place in Sam Allardyce’s West Ham side and his problems are re-emerging across London.
Signed from Velez Sarsfield in June, Zarate hasn’t been playing top level football since 2012, when he was loaned to Inter Milan from Lazio, but he made over 100 appearances in total during his time in Serie A.
His career has been made up of brief loan stints but now, at the age of 27, more is expected from the striker and patience is beginning to run thin. There is clearly an underlying problem that is holding Zarate back; he’s a player with great potential but his inability to hold down a starting role at a top level club is concerning.
He thrived while back in Argentina with Sarsfield, where his career began, scoring 19 goals in 29 appearances last season but the pace and intensity of football out there isn’t to the same standards.
The Premier League is as fast and furious as it gets and as Zarate found out in 2008 while on loan at Birmingham City, it isn’t easy, and seven years on he still can’t get to grips with it.
Since his loan move to QPR the forward has made just four brief cameo appearances as a substitute, accumulating to about 75 minutes of football. Zarate wanted to leave the Hammers on loan in order to get more game time but as his current club have stated, he simply isn’t fit enough.
It’s been reported that QPR were so concerned by his severe lack of fitness that they nearly pulled the plug on his deal and sent him back to West Ham, they instead opted to place him on an intensive fitness regime.
Now well into March, Zarate still isn’t featuring for the club while team-mate Adel Taarabt, who was placed on the same regime, has been getting on the pitch more frequently which suggests that the Argentine is still slacking.
It’s frustrating to see a player with Zarate’s natural talent and flair go to waste, he looked like he possessed real quality in his early-season appearances with West Ham, as brief as they were.
Much like the Ravel Morrison situation, though, the east London outfit may be better cutting their losses. Zarate is thought to be commanding a big wage packet and with Financial Fair Play in place, the Hammers could do with those funds to strengthen in other areas.
After stints with three different clubs in England it’s quite clear that things just aren’t going to work out for Zarate in this league and the sooner West Ham can offload the player the better.
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