Taarabt hardly had look in at Tottenham under Redknapp.
But the new gaffer told The Sun: "I know all about New Zealand defender Ryan Nelsen, having taken him to Spurs in the first place.
"He's a colossus, a real leader, and I'm looking forward to working with him again.
"Likewise, Adel Taarabt was at White Hart Lane under me, and I loaned him to QPR, before selling him to them a couple of years ago.
"He has always been an amazing talent, but he seems to have grown up a lot since those days and is a better all-round player."