International break review: 8 points from 4

form table (march international break)

The two week international break has come at the wrong time for Rangers who are currently in brilliant form. Five of the R’s first team squad are currently away representing their respective countries. A special mention must go to Paul Smyth who scored the winner against South Korea just four minutes into his debut for Northern Ireland debut. Paul was called upto the senior squad just days before after impressing Michael O’Neill in the U23s 5-3 loss against Spain. He clearly loves a debut goal and knows where the back of the net is. At the moment he is on fire so hopefully he can continue his brilliant form in the last few months of the season.

The rest of the squad are continuing the hard work at Harlington in preparation for next Friday’s away trip to Reading. This week the Royals unveiled their new manager Paul Clement who replaces Jaap Stam. Paul is son of former right back Dave Clement, a player who made 472 appearances for the Rs, scoring 28 goals.

As the form table shows, Rangers have been on a great run of form of late. Since the 5-2 defeat at home to Nottingham Forest we are unbeaten in four, taking us 14 points clear of the relegation zone. Barring a complete disaster this should see us fairly comfortably into the next campaign. The Rs have looked a like a completely different team these past few weeks. Like many I think our uplift in form is because of the long awaited and long called for switch in formation.

Since reverting from a five at the back to a flat four the Rs have taken four points at home against Derby and Sunderland and another four points, in very impressive style, away to automatic promotion chasers Aston Villa and Fulham.

It is a switch that fans have been calling for on social media platforms for some time and credit to Holloway and his team for showing tactical flexibility and switching it up.
Better suited to our players-

Jake Bidwell has played LB his whole career so naturally it is much more comfortable for him. After the Villa game he said that as a LWB he feels uncomfortable because he has no winger in front of him, as a player that’s strength is not pace and dribbling he is much more effective with a partner on the left flank.
The same could be said for the RWB position which had been a problem for a while. Whilst James Perch was injured we alternated between Furlong, Jordan Cousins and Pawel Wszolek. Pav and Jordan are not defenders and Darnell similarly struggled at times having to occupy the whole right flank, often times with very little support.
Jack Robinson is a player that has been in good form and for me one of the first names on the team sheet.

However, even he said that playing as the left most centre back it can be a lonely position at times when Bidwell has to push forward, again Robinson felt that he had too much of a space to occupy.
Playing 5 at the back may be useful for the last five or ten minutes of an away game for instance when we just have to grind out a result. However it is clear that our defenders were not wholly confident in that system and look much more balanced in a back four.
Pawel Wszolek!-

Pav has played well in the last few weeks and it typifies why the Rs are best suited to 4 at the back and the use of out and out wingers. At Fulham Pav was asked to play LW and put in a MOTM performance and got the all important equaliser. I thought he was excellent both offensively and defensively and helped Bidwell keep attacking fullback Ryan Federicks quiet for the most part.

I think Wszolek is very much a confidence player and his spells in and out of the team at RWB did not look wholly comfortable and I think it killed his confidence a bit. He looks much better with a defender behind him allowing him to concentrate on getting at his full back.

However after his last few performances, especially Fulham, let’s hope that he continues to shine like we know he can as he seems to have games every so often when he looks unplayable, one only has to think back to Reading last year and the promising performance he put in at Craven Cottage recently.

Up next for the Rs is Reading away on Good Friday. Last season we beat the Royals 0-1 courtesy of a brilliant goal on the counter attack, finished off by Jamie Mackie. Both Pav and Ryan Manning did brilliant in the build up to that goal and both have recently hit great form so let’s hope for a repeat of last year’s result and impressive team performance. Come on you R’s!

Thank you for reading.

Jack da Silva.

 

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The January transfer window

JAN outgoings

The January transfer window saw twelve players depart Loftus Road. Holloway has managed to trim one of the Championship’s biggest squads and cut the wage bill considerably. Although, with the club attempting to adjust to financial fair play rules as well as a lack of funds in an overpriced transfer market, not one player was brought in. Some may see this as another step in the right direction in terms of balancing the books and getting rid of deadwood. However, with the Rs only seven points above the relegation zone the hierarchy in W12 have potentially taken a big gamble. This article will go through some of the pros and cons of the Rs January transfer dealings.

PROS:

1) Keeping our best players-

I felt that losing two important players in Tjaronn Chery and Sebastian Polter last January was a blow, temporarily upsetting the chemistry of the team. However, at least this January we managed to keep the likes of Alex Smithies, Luke Freeman, Massimo Luongo and Idrissa Sylla. Whilst there was some speculation linking some of our better performers with moves away from Loftus Road, luckily nothing managed to materialise from the rumours.

2) Continuing to balance the books-

Rangers were able to shift the likes of Steven Caulker, Ariel Borysiuk and Yeni Ngbakoto out of the club, first team players that have played very little this season. Getting some of the highest earners off the wage bill is a positive move which should free up wages to continue rebuilding our squad in the summer, one which I feel has still not fully recovered since the days of overspending whilst in the Premier League.

3) Trimming the squad-

Prior to the January transfer window Rangers had one of the biggest squads in the Championship, however, with respect we were carrying a lot of deadwood. Younger players such as Brandon Comley, Reece Grego-Cox and Michael Petrasso have struggled to get minutes in the first team, spending much time on loan at league two clubs. Also, the likes of Caulker, Borysiuk and Ngbakoto have also struggled to play consistently in the first team, therefore, the decision to release seven players and sell two is best for all parties. We have managed to trim both the squad of deadwood as well as continue to cut the wage bill.

4) More game time for those in the U23s-

Sean Goss was signed from Manchester United last January. Dubbed as the next Michael Carrick this was a signing that created much excitement. Mourinho included a buy back option in the deal and United fans were largely disappointed at Goss’ departure. The midfielder arrived in W12 and took the number 10 shirt, one that comes with big responsibility considering the likes of Bowles, Marsh, Buzsáky and Taarabt that have gone before.

However, one year on and Goss has only managed to make six appearances for the Rs first team, largely playing for the U23 side whilst at QPR. After his first few games Goss has been well received by the Rangers fans so hopefully he can continue playing well. Although, the decision for him to be loaned out I feel is a questionable one, more on that later though.

Shodipo is a player who looked bright when he burst onto the scene last season. However, a long term achilles problem and the signing of Bright Osayi-Samuel has hindered Shodipo’s first team chances. If he can get playing at Colchester United it will hopefully set him up to continue his development as he is a player with potential and it would be good to see him fulfil it with us later in his career.

Joe Lumley is a goalkeeper who is apparently highly rated by the playing and coaching staff at Rangers. With Matt Ingram returning from his loan at Northampton Town it has allowed the less experienced Lumley the chance to go on loan to league one side Blackpool. Again, this should only be good for Lumley’s development. In his first two games he managed to keep two clean sheets, hopefully Lumley can continue to build on the good work so far.

CONS:

1) Defenders?

Holloway has insisted on playing five at the back this season, regularly opting for a 5-3-2 formation. However, as seen earlier in the season, if our defenders suffer injuries we have looked very light at the back. For instance, injuries saw Jack Robinson, primarily a left back, have to play centre half. Luckily he has made the position his own and has looked a lot more comfortable in a central position. Although, when James Perch, Nedum Onuoha and Grant Hall have been injured we have had to rely on Alex Baptiste and Joel Lynch staying fit. We have also had to alternate between Jordan Cousins, Pawel Wszolek and Darnell Furlong, none of which have looked too convincing at right full back.

Therefore, you can forgive fans for being aggrieved that we have not strengthened a defence that almost got us relegated last season and has again struggled to keep clean sheets this season. If the Rs manage to stay up then  defensive recruitments will be a priority in the summer as defensively we  are simply not good enough to be challenging towards the right end of the table.

2) Strikers?

So far Matt Smith is top goalscorer with six goals with Conor Washington just behind him with five. Last season’s top goalscorer Idrissa Sylla has featured less this season and is joint with Jamie Mackie on only four goals. Youngsters Aramide Oteh and Paul Smyth both have one goal to their name also. At times this season we have really struggled to break teams down, especially on the road. We still have not replaced Charlie Austin’s goals and it is clear that we have needed a goalscorer for a good few years now.

However, Les Ferdinand has said this week that the club do not have the money to spend big anymore, especially in light of financial fair play rules. In January players are also overvalued and to get a decent striker would have costed millions of pounds. Therefore, Les has said that we need to continue our current policy of developing young and hungry talent rather than buying more established attackers.

3) Sean Goss out on loan?

I think most Rs fans would agree that our midfield has at times looked our strongest and most promising area. In the early stages of the season, the combination of Freeman and Luongo’s creativity mixed with Scowen’s ability to break up the play allowed us to attack with fluidity. I even recall some fans on social media stating that we had the best midfield in the Championship. However, more recently the combination has not been working as well and our long ball style to Washington and Oteh has led to criticism that Holloway is tactically inept and has no playing style other than route one football.

Holloway has been stubborn with 5-3-2 to ensure that the midfield trio of Scowen, Luongo and Freeman is untouched. Although, in the games that Goss did play his range of passing looked impressive and he was a player that always tried to get on the ball from deep and get us playing. In my opinion it is a shame that Goss was frozen out. Holloway always talks about creating an attractive style of play at QPR and you cannot help but think that Goss would have been a good player to have around. Although he may not have been the most physical, he tried to get us playing a possession based style of football. Too often we just gift the opposition possession by going long to Washington, who very rarely competes aerially against the brutish defenders in the Championship.

With our current lack of creativity and a seemingly untouchable midfield perhaps the decision to ship Goss out on loan was a poor one. When Goss signed Holloway said that he could offer us something that no one else in the midfield could. However, Holloway’s brand of football is to outwork the opposition, considering Goss is more suited to a team that has more of the ball it has not worked out for him so far. Although, considering our league position perhaps Holloway should rethink his footballing philosophy. Instead of outworking the opposition and showing more passion, heart and desire than our opponents it would be nice to see is regularly dominate possession and get the opposition having to do the majority of the pressing.

Final words:

The January transfer window was a frustrating one, we needed to strengthen our defence and attack. However, considering the financial fair play dispute and our lack of ambition to spend it was perhaps expected, our hands are somewhat tied in what we can do at present. However, some positives is that none of our better players wanted to leave like last year and we have managed to shift some deadwood and reduce our expenses. As attention turns towards Barnsley tomorrow I would like to write a few words on the situation regarding the manager. On social media Holloway has been getting heavily criticised and from what I have seen, those who think Holloway is doing a good job are somewhat in the minority.

I believe that a good manager is one that can make tough decisions and take risks. Considering that our top goalscorer is Matt Smith and his strength lies in his physical presence and heading ability I think Holloway should switch up the formation and go for a 4-1-2-1-2. Against Barnsley I would like to see Holloway play to our strengths and get service into Smith from out wide. Below is the team that I would go for if I was in Holloway’s shoes.

Thank you for reading and come on your Rs!

By Jack da Silva.

teamvsbarnsley

Some memorable moments from 2017

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2017 has been a pretty poor one football wise. The Rs managed to stay up by a single point last campaign and have again found themselves in a relegation battle with only 10 points currently separating the bottom 10 clubs. With the Rs struggling to find the net, 2018 is looking like another fight to stay in the Championship unless we can somehow convince a decent striker to join the club in the January window. Whilst 2017 has had many lows there were also some memorable moments that should be remembered.

2-0 win vs Nottingham Forest:

The final home fixture of the 2016-17 season, Rangers knew that only a win would do if we were to decide our own fate.

After a goalless first 45 two second half goals from Conor Washington and Joel Lynch won us the game and secured our Championship survival by a single point. A bitter sweet moment in which Rangers fans breathed a sigh of relief!

Stan Bowles benefit game:

The Rs welcomed Bournemouth for a pre-season fixture honouring perhaps our greatest ever player Stanley Bowles, who is unfortunately suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Jordon Ibe’s goal saw Bournemouth claim victory. However, the result was never going to be important considering the circumstances. Incredibly over £100,000 was raised to support Stan and his family, as well as raise awareness for Alzheimer’s. Seeing Stan take to the Loftus Road turf perhaps for the final time was an emotional moment for all in attendance.

Even though the weather was awful it did not dampen the mood on what was a fantastic occasion.

To continue supporting Stan you can still donate at the following website:

http://www.justforstan.com/

Game4Grenfell:

After the tragic fire at Grenfell tower last June, QPR hosted what would be my personal highlight of 2017, the #Game4Grenfell.

It was a great day in which the community really came together. Also, it was a welcome relief for survivors, family members of the departed, firefighters, care workers and hospital staff who no doubt have and continue to suffer from the tragedy.

Current and former professional footballers, comedians, actors, musicians, sportsmen and even pantomime villain Jose Mourinho were in attendance. The match went to a penalty shootout at the Loft End, with Team Ferdinand just edging it.

On what was another emotional occasion it was one that made everyone extremely proud to be a QPR fan.

To donate you can visit the following:

https://secure.thebiggive.org.uk/grenfell#/

#LoftusRoad100:

Our 2-1 win vs Ipswich Town in September marked our 100 year anniversary at Loftus Road.

Although the Rs are still going through a difficult transition period, Loftus Road is a second home for most Rangers fans where so many incredible memories have been made.

Although I have only been going to Loftus Road consistently for around eight/nine years I could reel off  countless memories such as:

Winning promotion under Neil Warnock, beating Chelsea 1-0, Charlie Austin’s brace in the playoff semi final, that comeback vs Liverpool under the lights, beating Arsenal and Tottenham, the last minute winner from Cisse vs Stoke to keep us up, amongst countless other moments and memories.

That comeback vs Brentford:

A poor first 80 minutes or so saw Rangers trailing to neighbours Brentford after a brace from Lasse Vibe.

With the ground half empty 2 goals in roughly 120 seconds from Matt Smith and Luke Freeman marked an incredible comeback ensuring that the Rs gained a point from the West London derby.

Holloway’s outburst at the fans:

After the frantic final few minutes of the Brentford game Holloway was clearly moved. In his post match interview he decided to let off some steam and criticise almost half of the fans who left the ground early.

It very much divided opinion, as paying supporters feel that they are entitled to leave when they want to. Although, whether you are Holloway in or out, seeing a manager that equally shares our passion is refreshing.

After the dust settled the Rs manager later apologised, although his post match comments made for quite a bizarre but memorable moment.

Jack Robinson’s brace:

The Rs travelled to Birmingham in mid December in desperate need of our first away win of the season. Last season the hoops ran out 4-1 winners at St. Andrews. This season it looked as though the travelling fans could be in for another good away day as Jack Robinson scored the first ever goal of his professional career.

However, in the second half Sam Gallagher equalised for the Blues, as their fans found their voices you could forgive the Rs fans for fearing the worst. Although, with just seven minutes remaining up steps Jack Robinson who expertly found the bottom right hand corner from 25 yards out and secured the Rs first away win in 18 games. Not only was it great for the Rs but also for Robinson who scored the first two goals of his professional career, well deserved after such bad luck with injuries.

With the Rs struggling to score on the road Jack Robinson was an unlikely match winner. A great day for the player, who has probably been our best since he started playing at centre-half. More of the same please Jack!

2018?

Let’s hope that 2018 will see the Rs stay up. Considering we stayed up by one point last season staying up will not represent much progress. Hopefully if we stay up this season we can push on next summer, continue to clear out the deadwood and trim down what is the Championship’s largest squad. Hopefully then we would have some money available to strengthen at both ends of the pitch, as both our defence and attack need investment.

Here’s to a happy and healthy 2018, hopefully we can get off to good start tomorrow with the return of Warnock’s Cardiff City to Loftus Road.

Thank you for reading.

Happy new year!

By Jack da Silva.

An in-depth look at QPR’s activity in the transfer window.

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Last week the summer transfer window finally slammed shut, for the next four months it is time to hopefully enjoy watching the football until the rumours and the ITKs on social media start up again.

Many QPR fans have vented their frustration that the club has failed to sign another centre-half, full-back and striker. Although the window was not perfect, there were a number of positives, with Holloway building on his decent business from the January window.

Let’s take a look at the ins and outs at Loftus Road this summer.

PLAYERS IN:

incomings

Low risk-

I would describe this window as low risk, but potentially high reward. The likes of Paul Smyth, David Wheeler and Bright Osayi-Samuel speak to QPRs history of taking players from the lower leagues on the cheap and allowing them to fulfil their potential in W12.

One of the prime examples being Les Ferdinand, a player signed from non-league Hayes and Yeading for £30,000, who made his debut for the Rs at just twenty-year-old. He would go on to score 80 goals in 163 appearances and win 17 caps for England, scoring 5 goals.

The 1994/95 was especially impressive, with Les managing to score 24 times in the Premier League, you cannot help but wonder how much he would have been worth in today’s market.

As fans we will have to be patient. However, I think I speak for most Rs fans when I say I much prefer this approach than signing big name, big money has beens. The likes of Smyth, Wheeler and Osayi-Samuel are all young and see QPR as a step up rather than down. In their interviews they all came across as good characters who genuinely want to work hard and do well.

The days of  the QPR hierarchy and players being branded as ‘clowns’ are a far cry from how things are being done at the moment. Tony Fernandes gets a lot of stick on social media from Rs fans but the club is now being run in a sensible manner and in the right way.

Whilst it may take time to get back to the Premier League, I feel that when we eventually get there we will be a lot better equip than the days of spending £12.5 million mid-season, paying £100,000 a week to an unfit centre-half.

QPR going back to its roots is an exciting prospect. Signing young players that we know little about other than they have great potential is something that all Rs fans can be optimistic about.

The average age of the squad is now 25-year-old, suggesting that for most of the players their best years are still yet to come. Much more exciting than watching Premier League and Champions League winners jog around, picking up their final lucrative pay checks.

Josh Scowen-

The signing of Josh Scowen on a free was a real coup. He is a player we have needed for years, one that epitomises the character that Olly, Les and Birch have been talking about since they arrived.

Describing himself as a ‘little rat’, Josh has grit and determination in abundance, coupled with the ability to create. He slotted in straight away and has become one of the first names on the team sheet alongside his two midfield partners Luke Freeman and Massimo Luongo.

He is particularly good at keeping it simple, although, when the chance presents itself he is very capable of skipping past a few players and with him in the side we look far more balanced.With him playing the anchorin the middle more often than not, it allows Freeman and Luongo to be slightly more forward thinking. As yet the midfield trio has been working brilliantly, so long may that continue.

To get Josh on a free transfer, especially when he had more lucrative options to move to the Premier League with Huddersfield for instance, shows how much of a coup this was for the Rs.

Credit must go to those behind the scenes at the club, signings such as Scowen and Freeman, who arrived for just £500,000 in January are perfect for us. These acquisitions have hopefully increased the fans confidence in our scouting network and it will be interesting to see what the likes of Wheeler and Osayi-Samuel will offer.

Out and out wide players-

Out of the six summer signings four were natural wide players. Whilst many Rs fans were criticising the club on social media for not investing in a goal scorer, it appears that Holloway thinks our strike force is good enough, they perhaps just lack good service. Considering that Sylla and Smith both are players that are strong in the air, it was a good move to strengthen our options from out wide.

Considering the price it would have cost to buy a goalscorer similar to Charlie Austin, perhaps Holloway’s decision to keep faith in our front men will pay off. For instance, Britt Assombalonga scored 14 times in all competitions last season, only 2 more goals in Idrissa Sylla. However, to secure his services Middlesbrough had to pay an incredible £14m to Nottingham Forest.

Freeman is currently acting as our main play maker and his service into the box to Matt Smith in particular has been excellent, with the latter scoring a number of headers. Paul Smyth will be starting his Rs career with the club’s U23 side, although, let’s hope Osayi-Samuel, Lua Lua and Wheeler can provide better service to our strikers.

Interestingly though, David Wheeler, signed from Exeter is considered a wide right midfielder. However,  last season he managed to score 21 goals and is said to be versatile. With the amount of wingers now at the club perhaps it would not be a surprise to see Wheeler playing in a two up top.

The acquisition of more wingers will also allow Holloway to be more flexible and move from a 3-5-2 with full backs to a more traditional 4-4-2 or 4-3-3 with more attack minded wide players.

Where are the defenders?-

Rs fans again questioned why we did not strengthen our most vulnerable position which is our defence. The signing of Baptiste may be good for the dressing room but after that Brentford game many are already writing him off, early days yet though.

I can only think that with Steven Caulker returning and Joel Lynch and Grant Hall nearing a return from injury that Holloway thinks we can make do with what we have. The long term injury that James Perch sustained had many calling for the Rs to sign a right back.

However, it seems that Holloway may be ready to instil his trust in Darnell Furlong, or alternatively perhaps use club captain Nedum Onouha in the position, one that he has filled in numerous times throughout his Rangers career.

However, the concern for Rs fans is that if we get hit with an injury crisis we could be in trouble. It happened last season when Grant Hall got injured towards the back end of the season. Resulting in a long losing streak that brought us one point away from relegation into League One.

Let’s hope that this season we will better luck with injuries. Two games a week when lacking depth is very difficult to sustain in this league.

Although, on the positive, Hall should be nearing a return soon and he has been our most consistent defender when fit. If he can stay injury free his return will be like a new signing coming into the heart of the Rs defence, be it a back four or five.

PLAYERS OUT:

outgoings

Keeping Alex Smithies!-

For many fans keeping our star man Alex Smithies was the best aspect of the window. He has regularly linked with what some may call a dream reunion with an impressive Huddersfield side promoted to the Premier League last season. With the start they have made it would have been difficult for any Championship player linked to Wagner’s side not to consider it.

From a selfish point of view the move never materialised and keeping Smithies is huge if we are going to do anything serious this season.

No mass exodus-

Compared to the years gone by this window has been very quiet. As QPR fans we slowly became accustomed to transfer windows bringing almost a new squad of players in each time.

Whilst last season was not the best, the players that left the club this window were not even making the match day squad regularly. Therefore, it has been a while since QPR have been able to keep all the regular members of the squad together at the club.

The performances so far this season have looked good and the players look comfortable and used to each other. As many are young perhaps they needed last season to get used to the Championship.

For the Rs it was also another season of transition, not just with the change of manager but also with Tjaronn Cherry and Sebastian Polter, two starters who suddenly departed last January.

With more stability and team chemistry this season it looks as though it has paid off and hopefully our position come the end May will reflect an improvement on recent seasons.

Opportunity for playing time-

Eze Ebere and Brandon Comley are two young players that have looked promising when called upon. However, realistically the chance of regular first team football will be greater at Wycombe Town and Colchester United respectively.

Brandon Adams is an attacker that has been doing well with the U23s. As part of the Smyth deal, he goes the other way to Linfield on loan, let’s hope that it is also a chance for another Rs youngster to get experience and playing time.

Interestingly, Matt Ingram is another player that has gone on loan in search of playing time. The 23-year-old made 140 appearances for Wycombe before joining the Rs in January 2016. However, the form of Alex Smithies has limited Ingram to only 10 appearances.

The news of Ingram signing on loan with Northampton Town is good news for both parties. For Ingram it must be difficult to train day in day out with no match to play come Tuesday or Saturday. He was a mainstay in the Wycombe side so the chance to go to the Sixfields and play games will be good for Matt.

Shifting deadwood-

With respect, players such as Michael Doughty, Nasser El Khayati and Ben Gladwin could be considered deadwood. They were players who were largely used from the bench, although often times not even making the match day squad.

Moving them on was best for all parties as the Rs could cut the wage bill down and the players now have a chance to reignite their careers elsewhere. Doughty has moved onto a new challenge at Peterborough United, Nasser at ADO Den Hag and Ben at Blackburn Rovers.

On behalf of all QPR fans we wish them every success and good luck.

A good window?

Overall, I think Rs fans can be happy with the work that has gone on over the summer in W12.

We have opted to sign young, ambitious players on low fees and wages who have character and a desire to succeed. Players who also see QPR as a step up in their careers rather than a step down.

We have also signed Baptiste, who brings a wealth of experience, a player that Holloway has described as one of the biggest characters in the game, who for sure will do no harm in a youthful, perhaps slightly inexperienced dressing room.

Considering the market, signing a goalscorer was always going to be difficult. It will be interesting to see whether Holloway will try Wheeler up front, considering he scored 21 goals last season and Pawel Wszolek has made the right midfield position his own.

Osayi-Samuel is a player that I am excited to watch,  one that resembles Matt Phillips in terms of physique and speed. The player is 19, one year younger than Mide Shodipo, although Osayi-Samuel has more experience on his side, playing 42 times last season for Blackpool. However, when Mide returns from injury I think he will be a useful player to have in and around the squad so let’s hope the young players can really push each other on.

Thank you for reading.

Let me know your thoughts.

You Rs!

 

 

Transfer Weekly (#12)

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Yeni Ngbakoto-

Over the summer there has been speculation that Ngbakoto, signed from Metz last summer, was struggling to adapt to life in London. Creating some uncertainty over whether the player would remain in W12 this season.
However, French radio station RMC are reporting that Ligue 1 club Nantes approached the players agent, but was told he wants to stay with the Rs, suggesting the 25-year-old has now got to grips with life in London a year after relocating from France.

Nasser El-Khayati-

The club have confirmed that Nasser El-Khayati has left by mutual consent.
The winger was signed by Jimmy Floyd Hasselbank from his old club Burton Albion on a two-and-a-half-year deal last January.
Nasser scored one goal, a memorable last minute winner at home to Charlton, this coming in the 25 appearances he made for the club in his 18 months in W12. The 28-year-old found his game time limited at Loftus Road though and was sent on loan to Dutch side Ado Den Haag for the second half of last season.
With Holloway finalising his squad the winger was surplus to requirements so the decision for him to leave should be beneficial for both parties. On behalf of all the Rs fans we wish you good luck in the future Nasser.

Saman Ghoddos-

It is reported that QPR have seen a bid rejected for Swedish international Saman Ghoddos.
The 23-year-old scored four goals, as well as assisting six in the Swedish top flight, the Allsvenskan.

He also caught the eye with an impressive goal scoring record in the domestic cup, scoring seven goals in seven games. He also recently broke into the Swedish national team, scoring once in his two appearances.
The source HITC believe that a bid of £1.8m was not satisfactory. Ostersund are rumoured to be looking for a fee in the region of three and a half million pounds.
Although unlikely, if Rangers want to offer an improved second bid they would face competition from the likes of Celtic and Ajax who are also rumoured to be interested.

Nouha Dicko-

It has been reported that QPR are thought to be interested in Wolverhampton front man Nouha Dicko.
The 25-year-old made 34 appearances for the Wanderers last season, scoring five goals and assisting four.
This summer Wolves appointed former Porto Boss Nuno Espirito Santo as their head coach. The former Portuguese goalkeeper has made a number of big-name signings since his arrival, pushing Dicko down the pecking order at Molineux.
Dicko has been used sporadically since the beginning of the season, largely being used off the bench in the latter stages of Wolves’ fixtures so far.
It is reported that Holloway, looking to finalise his squad is ready to test the resolve of the promotion chaser. The player may also be keen on the move, considering the possibility of being a regular starter in W12.

Paul Smyth-

A source from Belfast has reported that the Rs appear to be closing in on signing Linfield’s youth star Paul Smyth.
It is believed that Ian Holloway had already made two offers for the 19-year-old winger, believed to be in the region of £90,000.

However, it is thought that Linfield are looking for a six-figure sum and Rangers are prepared to match it.
Other clubs such as Sunderland, Ipswich and Reading are also linked. However, for those who look into player activity on social media, Smyth liked our last edition of transfer weekly on Instagram, in which he featured. Potentially signalling that the player is keen on the potential move to Loftus Road.

Gary Gardner-

It has been reported that Holloway is interested in a move for Aston Villa midfielder Gary Gardner.
Now 25-years-old the player will be looking to get his career back and track and have some stability.
Gardner has spent much of his career out on loan. He spent the last few years on loan at Nottingham Forest. Although, a managerial change saw Mark Warburton brought to the City Ground. It is thought that the Reds are not looking to launch a permanent bid for the player.
With Gardner surplus to requirements at Villa Park and Warburton seemingly not interested in a permanent move, an offer from the Rs could be on the way in due course.

Transfer Weekly (#10/11)

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Kazenga Lua Lua-

Rangers have secured the signing of Kazenga Lua Lua on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion. A player returning to W12 for a second loan spell which will last until January 2018.

Previously, Kazenga was unlucky with injury, however, he did manage to make 11 appearances last season, scoring once. In his time last season he looked strong and sharp, and the player has said he had a “very good pre-season” and is raring to go and hopefully stay injury free this time.

Upon signing Kazenga told the club’s media department that he “knows the boys and the manager, so this was a very easy decision for me… My pre-season went well, but it’s about playing games…I am happy to be here and hopefully I can help the team”.

Alex Baptiste-

The R’s have completed the signing of experienced defender Alex Baptiste. The 31-year-old has agreed a two-year deal following his release from fellow Championship side Middlesbrough.

After going their separate ways, Baptiste’s move will see him link up again with Ian Holloway, as the pair worked together at Blackpool, winning promotion to the Premier League in the 2009/10 season.

Holloway has praised Alex’s versatility, saying that he can play anywhere across the defence. He has also said that Alex is “one of the biggest characters I’ve worked with in my time in the game.”

Upon arriving, Alex has said that working with Holloway at Blackpool was the “best time of my career, we had an unbelievable team spirit… I am an honest lad who gives 100 per cent, I will give it my all, I will leave it all on the pitch.”

Idrissa Sylla-

It is being reported that QPR striker Idrissa Sylla could be on the move, with Swansea City and Wolverhampton Wonderers rumoured to be interested.

He last appeared in the Carabao Cup clash with Northampton Town, in which a head injury forced the player off and meant he missed the trips to Sheffield and more recently Norwich. However, even when fit Conor Washington, Jamie Mackie and Matt Smith look to be ahead of the Guinean in the pecking order.

QPR’s top goalscorer last year with 10 in 32 league appearances may well be on his way with the Rangers hierarchy looking to increase funds to reinvest into the squad.

John Akinde-

Some outlets are linking Barnet front man John Akinde with a move to Rangers. The Nigerian has been described by Bees fans as a goal machine after netting 26 goals in 46 games in League Two for Barnet last season, bettering his total of 23 goals from the previous season 2015/16.

Akinde last played in the Championship with Bristol City six years ago, after numerous loan spells away and a short period at Portsmouth, he ended up in Alfreton Town, where he netted 18 goals in 43 appearances.

This form led to Barnet taking the player on in 2014. Since then he has scored 80 times in 131 league games for the Bees. Now QPR are reportedly thinking of giving Akinde a chance to test himself in the Championship once again.

A prolific goalscorer at 28 years of age, in the peak of his career, perhaps a gamble on a player with unfinished business in the Championship would be a good move. Akinde is a player that would bring some much needed pace and strength to the attack. Although, the Rs will face competition if they pursue a move for the Nigerian, as league one club Charlton are also rumoured to be interested.

Paul Smyth-

It has been reported that QPR have made a second bid for 19-year-old Linfield winger Paul Smyth.

Smyth has represented Northern Ireland at youth levels, playing for both the U19s and U21s. He was also called up by Michael O’Neill to Northern Ireland’s senior squad for Euro 2016. As well as helping Linfield win the Northern Irish Premiership title, netting 6 times in 25 appearances last season.

Smyth is under contract at Windsor Park until the summer of 2019. If QPR have submitted a second bid as reported, they may face competition with fellow Championship side Reading, who are also rumoured to be interested.

 Nedum Onuoha-

It has been reported that QPR’s club captain Nedum Onouha is attracting attention from Premier League sides, after keeping a clean sheet in both of his opening two games of the season.

Nedum is being linked with moves to newly promoted Brighton, while also being linked with a reunion with Mark Hughes at Stoke City. Nedum was a regular starter with City when Hughes was at the helm, and it was the Welshman who brought Nedum to W12 in 2012.

Although, with the defensive line looking slightly slim and in areas inexperienced, the question is whether Holloway is ready to allow the club captain to leave with just a couple of weeks left in the transfer window.

Gohi Cyriac-

It was reported that QPR and Bristol City were both interested in a move to sign former Fulham loanee Gohi Cyriac.

It was thought that Fulham had expressed also expressed an interest in signing the Ivorian striker permanently. All of Cyriac’s 11 appearances for Fulham came from the substitutes bench for Slavisa Jokanovic’s side.

However, a few days ago the speculation had come to nothing as Rangers missed out on another target. Cyriac signed for Sivasspor in the Süper Lig, for just over half a million pounds.

Omar Bogle-

QPR have again been linked with Bogle recently. Just last week Skybet had the R’s down as  2/1 favourites to land the player. Bogle was recently featured in an earlier edition of transfer weekly.

However, after being heavily linked to the R’s it looks as though table topping Cardiff City are on the brink of signing Wigan striker Omar Bogle for roughly £1 million. This coming after City boss Neil Warnock alluded to a mystery signing after his side beat Sheffield United 2-0 on Tuesday night.

Bogle adding to the likes of Yiadom and Cyriac as targets that have opted for other clubs.

Transfer Weekly (#9)

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Omar Bogle:

It is understood that the Wigan frontman has been put on the transfer list. He is being linked with a host of clubs, including QPR, Peterborough, Bristol City, Barnsley and Ipswich.

Last season Bogle had been top scorer in the Sky Bet League 2 with 19 goals, whilst playing for Grimsby Town. After much interest the player choose to move from the Mariners to the DW Stadium in the final hours of transfer deadline day in January 2017..

He went on to make 14 appearances in the Championship with the Latics, scoring 3 goals. However, this would not prove to be enough as Wigan were relegated from the Championship.

It is understood that Wigan boss Paul Cook does not think the 24-year-old fits into the style of play he wants going forward. Whilst there were rumours of a bust up between Bogle and Cook the player was quick to deny these rumours on his personal Twitter account.

While he looks for a new club he has been instructed to train with the League one clubs academy players.

Wigan value the striker at £800,000.

 

Steven Caulker:

A couple of weeks back it looked as though Caulker had no future in W12. He was heavily linked with Celtic, with a possible link up with former manager Brendan Rodgers looking likely. This was after it was revealed that he had struggled with mental illness and addictions to alcohol and gambling over the past few years.

However, after making a return to training and playing 70 minutes in the U23s 5-1 win against Billericay Town, it appears that the 25-year-old is now perhaps part of Holloway’s plans for the season.

Holloway has said that Caulker is in a “fantastic place”, adding: “I cannot believe that I am that lucky person who gets to work with him”.

Considering his wages, whether he will actually stay or whether this is just a ploy to get him in the shop window will all be revealed in due course. However, I would love to see Caulker stay. If he can get playing regular football we have seen glimpses that he can be the best defender at the club.

Before getting injured last season Steven started the season brilliantly, even scoring in our first away game, in a 2 nil win away to Cardiff. Unfortunately he got injured in October and has not played competitively since.

R’s fans have been demanding a new centre-half all summer, an area that clearly needs strengthening after finishing one point above the relegation zone. However, if he can stay fit mentally and physically he will be like a new signing considering he was absent for so much of last season. Hopefully this can bring some much needed leadership and confidence to the back-line.

 

Modou Barrow:

It is likely that the Barrow will be moved on by Swansea City as boss Paul Clement does not see the player as part of his long term plans. Last January he was sent to Leeds on loan, but struggled to make an impact. It is now understood that Reading, QPR and Barnsley are weighing up a move for the 24-year-old attacker.

Although there have been question marks over Barrow’s end product and level of consistency, he does have pace and has shown glimpses of flair, which given regular playing time could allow the six-cap Gambia international to fulfil his potential.

Simeon Akinola:

It is reported that Barnet winger Simeon Akinola is attracting attention from the R’s and Charlton Athletic.

Nigerian by birth, the player grew up in Spain before moving to England, joining Borehamwood’s academy. After breaking into the first team there, he has since spent time at Harrow Borough and Braintree Town before moving to the Hive earlier this year.

He joined the Bees during the 2017 January transfer window, playing nineteen games in League Two throughout the second part of the season. In which his performances, two goals and two assists has potentially impressed clubs enough that could allow his rise from non-league to advance to England’s second tier.

Barnet are aiming to receive £100,000 for their promising 24-year-old.

 

Jack Williams:

19-year-old Rangers defender Jack Williams has joined Wycombe Wanders on loan, keeping him at Adams Park until the 1st of January. Williams will be linking up with former R Gareth Ainsworth ahead of the big kick off in the Football League this weekend.

Williams is yet to make an appearance for the first team. With Jack Robinson and Jake Bidwell in front of him, gaining experience in the football league will be invaluable for the R’s young fullback.

 

Alex Finney:

Non-League side Maidstone United have signed 21-year-old centre-back Alex Finney on loan until January 1st 2018. The 21-year-old made his professional debut in 2015 when playing for Bolton in a 4-1 defeat in the Championship against Huddersfield Town.

Yet to make a first team appearance for the R’s first team since his free transfer in November, a chance for Finney to get regular playing time should only be beneficial for the youngster.

Transfer Weekly (#7/8)

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Ryan Manning-

After his solid breakthrough season last term, Rs youngster Ryan Manning has extended his deal two-year deal at Loftus Road by one year, extending his stay until the summer of 2020.

His performances last year did not go unnoticed. Not long after the season had ended it was rumoured that Crystal Palace and Bournemouth were interested in Manning, although, his extension and comments about wanting to get to the Premier League with QPR suggest that he will be staying loyal to the club.

Elliott Bennett-

It is reported that Blackburn Rovers midfielder Bennett is one of Ian Holloway’s top targets. The 28-year-old was one of the standout performances in last year’s relegation season, making 30 appearances and scoring on 4 occasions.

Bennett is now entering the last year of his contract, given his experience and ability to cover a number of positions Holloway is reportedly ready to put the pressure on Blackburn and test whether they want to keep their man but let him walk for free next year or cash in on him whilst they have the chance.

Benjamin Kololli-

QPR scouts watched the Kosovan international recently as Brentford took on Swiss side Lausanne-Sport. The 25-year-old is a natural right-back but can also play in midfield. Kololli impressively netted 8 goals in 24 league starts last season in a struggling team that finished 9th out of 10 teams.

Whilst it is understood that £750,000 could be enough to secure his signature the Rs would face competition from Swiss giants Basel, who are also reportedly interested.

Alex Smithies-

After Sunderland sold Vito Mannone to Reading there has been increased speculation that Rs number 1 Alex Smithies could be on his way up north to Wearside.

Yeni Ngbakoto-

It is reported that the Rs wide man could be made available for the right price after interest coming from France in the shape of Toulouse. The 25-year-old arrived in W12 last summer from Metz, signing a three-year contract. Although it is thought that Yeni had difficulty in settling in West London following a family bereavement and long-term injury.

Last summer Yeni choose QPR despite interest from Toulouse and a number of other Ligue 1 clubs. Therefore, it is thought that at the right price, Rangers would be willing to let Yeni return to France.

Idrissa Sylla-

After being left out of the #RsinGermany tour, there have been question marks over the future of last season’s top goalscorer. It has been reported that Reading are after the Rangers striker who manage to find the net 10 times last season. Reading’s top goalscorer of last season Yann Kermorgant will be out of action for the first few months after having surgery.

Therefore, Jaap Stam has reportedly identified Sylla as the man capable of temporarily filling the void. However, the Rs remain adamant that Sylla has not travel due to work permit issues. Whilst the jury is still out on Sylla, with some questioning his relaxed work rate and style of play, selling your top goalscorer to a Championship rival I feel would not go down well, even with those who question the player.

Considering the current crop of strikers at the club, if we are looking to do well we cannot sell the only striker we have who has a knack of getting into the right positions and hitting the target.

 

Steven Caulker-

Caulker is reportedly a target for Brendan Rodger’s Celtic, with the Scottish club reportedly ready to give him a chance to reignite his career. In a recent interview Caulker revealed how he has been battling depression, gambling and drinking problems.

Caulker arrived at QPR after playing his best football at Cardiff. Following their relegation he came in and the Rs fans had high hopes and were very excited by the signing. Although, despite making a number of appearances for the Rs in the Premier League, Caulker was loaned first to Southampton and later to Premier League giants Liverpool. He returned to QPR last summer, but picked up a hip injury last October. In January a loan move to Russia looked to be on the table but Steven recently admitted that given what he was going through going to Russia all on his own did not look like the best idea.

Therefore, former Swansea manager Rodgers knows Caulker well and is reportedly helping him battle his demons and although states that Caulker is a QPR player and is only helping him off the field, you cannot help but think Rodgers would be tempted by a cut-price deal for the 25-year-old.

Transfer Weekly (#6)

Josh Bowler-

After much speculation the R’s have agreed to sell the 18-year-old midfielder to Everton for £1.5m rising to £4.25m. In May Les Ferdinand sat down with Josh and his father in an attempt to convince him to stay, although it was made clear that his preferred destination was Goodison Park.

Tommie Hoban

It is thought that the R’s are edging closer to making Hoban their second signing of the summer. He made 16 appearances last season at relegated club Blackburn Rovers. A number of clubs are supposedly interested in the 23-year-old, including Sheffield United and Bolton. However, the R’s look to be leading the race to sign the Watford centre-half on a one-year loan deal.

George Thomas

20-year-old Coventry City starlet is in high demand after an impressive tournament for Wales  in Toulon. Last season was Thomas’ breakthrough season at the Ricoh Arena. He made 36 appearances, of note was his winning goal in the Checkatrade Trophy final at Wembley, in which Coventry beat Oxford United 2-1, in front of a record breaking 74,434 fans.

After Coventry were relegated to League Two, Thomas’ contract ran out. However, if Rangers are serious about going for the youngster they can expect competition from Swansea, Leicester, Rangers, Newcastle, Derby, Burnley and Brighton.

Kenny McLean

It is reported that QPR have been monitoring the 25-year-old Aberdeen midfielder who made 53 appearances in all competitions last season, notching 5 goals himself and assisting 5. It is thought that £750,000 would be enough to secure McLean, however, Birmingham, Glasgow Rangers and Sunderland are all interested parties alongside the R’s.

Josh Cullen– 

The R’s are thought to be interested in West ham’s young midfielder Josh Cullen after being deemed surplus to requirements at the London stadium. The 21-year-old spent two seasons on loan at League one side Bradford City, making 59 appearances, scoring one goal.

Joe Mason-

It is reported that the R’s and Nottingham Forest are weighing up a move for Wolves front man Joe Mason. The 26-year-old joined Wolves from Cardiff in early 2016 but has not been able to force his way into the side and be a regular at Molineux. Since joining Wolves he has had some injuries issues, making 39 appearances and scoring 7 goals.

In his career he has made 179 appearances in the Championship, scoring 41 goals so he has vast experience, although, the R’s need a goalscorer so whether we go for this move remains speculation at this point.

Callum Hudson-Odoi

It is reported that the R’s and Bristol City are interested in 16-year-old Hudson-Odoi. The 16-year-old is thought to be one of the best players coming through the system in recent years, having attracted attention from some top European clubs such as Juventus and Benfica.

The youngster was a key player in the England under-17s squad that reached the Euro final as well as playing a key role in Chelsea winning the FA Youth Cup. Chelsea recently tied him down to a three-year contract, therefore whatever club Hudson-Odoi ends up at, it will be a long deal rather than any chance of a permanent contract.

It is thought that Chelsea are thinking about sending him on loan to a Championship club. Although it is reported that the final decision will be made by the clubs technical director Michael Emenalo. The R’s could potentially be beaten to this deal as the progress of Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham at Bristol last year could be enough of an incentive to send Hudson-Odoi to Ashton Gate.

Transfer Weekly (#4)

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Josh Scowen-

After an impressive season at Barnsley last season Scowen’s contract is coming to an end, in July he will become a free agent. It is thought that Barnsley are keen to keep hold of the 24-year-old, although Scowen wants to join a club capable of mounting a promotion challenge next season.

Last season Scowen was an important player at Oakwell, making 41 appearances, scoring two goals. His versatility is also an attractive prospect, as he can play central midfield and anywhere on the right flank.

Although, the R’s are likely the face competition from Nottingham Forest, Preston and Bristol City.

Pelly Ruddock-

23-year-old Pelly is a powerful box-to-box midfielder for league 2 side Luton Town. A player described as having “endless energy” left West Ham to kick-start his career at non-league Borehamwood. He then joined Luton on loan in 2013 before making the move permanent in 2014. Since 2013 Pelly has made 100 appearances, with 52 of those coming this season.

His current manager Nathan Jones said that one day Pelly will play in the Premier League. He has also praised his versatility, having played Pelly at centre half and even in the number 10 position. Although Jones has said Pelly’s best position is sitting in front of the back 4 as a defensive midfielder.

Sammy Ameobi-

25-year-old Ameobi is soon to be released from newly promoted Newcastle United. A lack of first team opportunities led to the 6 ft 4 attacker going on loan to Bolton, who secured promoted to the Championship last season.

Ameobi played his part making 20 appearances, scoring twice. He is able to play out wide as well as up front. If this is a signing that the R’s are considering we are likely to face competition from Bolton and Nottingham Forest.

Cyrus Christie-

The 24-year-old Derby right-back was unlucky to have broken a bone in his ankle against Wolverhampton Wanderers in November last year. Although, after his recovery, the Republic of Ireland international featured on a regular basis, making 30 appearances in all competitions, scoring 1 goal.

Christie has been at Derby since the summer of 2014, although, with the recent signing of Andre Wisdom from Liverpool, he may be surplus to requirements. As a player who is used to playing first team football he will not want to sit on the bench and may seek a move away.

The R’s could probably get this deal done for under a million pounds. Although, it is thought that play-off finalists Reading are also interested in Christie.

Bersant Celina-

Celina is a 20-years-old Kosovo international who plays for Manchester City. Last season he joined Twente on loan, taking the number 10 shirt. He went on to make 27 appearances, scoring 5 times and assisting 5 times, with Twente finishing 7th in the Eredivisie. It is thought that City now want Celina to get experience in the Championship, perhaps to expose him to the physicality of English football.

Alongside the R’s it is thought that Leeds United and Ipswich Town are also interested.

Matty Fryatt-

Fryatt is a 31-year-old striker whose contract at Nottingham Forest expires this summer. Last season he struggled with problematic achilles, although during the last few months of the season he returned to full fitness.

The R’s are likely to face competition from a number of clubs including Ipswich Town and Hull City, who are reportedly keen to resign Fryatt who spent three years at the club from 2011-2014.

Having made over 350 appearances at Walsall, Leicester and Hull to name a few, his experience would be good for what is a youthful dressing room. Although, the R’s fan base would perhaps question whether Fryatt is the type of player we should be interested in, considering he has only started 17 games since 2014.