Not too long ago, Queens Park Rangers were roundly and fairly attacked by fans of other clubs for ruining football, paying way over the odds for players that ultimately amounted to very little.
The recent transfer window has been something of a surprise. A watershed moment in the eye-watering sums of monies paid and received by clubs in English football’s second-tier, it’s surely only a matter of time now until a player goes for £20m from the Championship.
Yet remarkably, QPR weren’t part of it. In fact they were a refreshing antidote, spending money like it was 2006 rather than 2016.
At the start of the summer, manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink still needed to reduce a rather sizeable squad and between him and Les Ferdinand, there has been no messing about. The recent departure of former QPR youth product Cole Kpekawa for £450,000 to Barnsley caused some concern amongst some of the Rs fanbase.
However, a very interesting article (from West London Sport) detailed that QPR were certainly better off without Kpekawa, especially given the competition of places at left-back. The high-profile departures of Matt Phillips and Leroy Fer combined with Junior Hoilett and Armand Traore being out of contract, saw a sizeable chunk of the wage bill cut.
Looking at that quartet, only Phillips might go on to do something this season, unless you consider the real threat of relegation with Swansea City doing something (Yes, Leroy I’m looking at you).
As well as the so called bigger names moving on, Hasselbaink and Ferdinand have successfully secured loan moves for players that for various reasons currently don’t feature in their plans, but could do with game time. Brandon Comley, Michael Doughty, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas, Darnell Furlong and Reece Greco-Cox all look like they will get some minutes across the forthcoming season.
You have to wonder if JET and perhaps Doughty’s time at Loftus Road may be coming to an end, but a good season’s loan for any of the others will surely improve their first-team chances at QPR.
It’s not only the departures that have been encouraging, but also the players coming in. Jake Bidwell, Jordan Cousins and Jake Lynch, whilst not household names are exactly what the club need. Younger, hungry and with proven Championship pedigree.
As well as that, Bidwell and to a lesser extent Cousins, have already forced their way into the first-team, with Bidwell in particular excelling. Allied with the additions of several European players that no one in the UK has heard of, Yeni Ngbakoto, Ariel Borysiuk, Idrissa Sylla and Pawel Wszolek, the club are going about their business the right way.
Perhaps the only blot on the club’s transfer window has been the inability to shift Sandro on, but this can’t have been for a lack of trying on the club or the player’s behalf. If you haven’t seen his video which features what amounts to a doctor’s note saying his knees are fine, do look it up!
In the past QPR were noted for unearthing a lower-league gem and selling them on for considerably more money a few years later. Perhaps this transfer window is a sign that the club are trying to hark back to a financial model more befitting the club’s stature.