Zarate to prove doubters wrong during QPR loan

Ross McLean
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Zarate scored twice for West Ham this term
NEW Queens Park Rangers striker Mauro Zarate has vowed to show his true worth after completing a loan move until the end of the season from Premier League rivals West Ham yesterday.

Zarate’s temporary move to Loftus Road follows a disappointing start to life at the Hammers, with the 27-year-old Argentine scoring just twice in eight appearances following a summer move from Velez Sarsfield.

Hoops boss Harry Redknapp has prioritised striking reinforcements during the January transfer window to supplement 12-goal Charlie Austin, as midfielder Leroy Fer’s haul of three makes him the club’s second top scorer.

Forwards Eduardo Vargas and Bobby Zamora have failed to fire in front of goal, and Zarate is determined to repay Redknapp’s faith, starting in Saturday’s clash with Burnley.

“I am happy, I need this, I need to play and Queens Park Rangers have given me this chance to show what I can do,” said Zarate. “The Premier League is the best in the world at this moment. Does my style suit the Premier League? Maybe. We’ll see.

“When I met the manager he told me he wanted to sign me for Portsmouth before, but in that moment I went to Lazio. But now I am here and will play for him. I am fit and I hope to be involved on Saturday.”

West Ham have a healthy stock of frontline talent and the return of Andy Carroll from a long-term injury and the form of summer recruits Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia has seen Zarate slip down the Upton Park pecking order.

But he may not be the only hitman on QPR’S radar. Toronto striker Jermain Defoe, who Redknapp managed at West Ham, Portsmouth and Tottenham, confirmed yesterday he is back in the country, while the MLS season does not resume until March. Defoe tweeted: “Just touched down in the UK from south of France, was training with my fitness guy, feeling stronger than ever! #Ready.”