With Queens Park Rangers languishing near the relegation zone in the Sky Bet Championship, now may be the time to start blooding in some fresh, young talent to the first-team squad.
And with funds tight across the Football League due to the impacts of COVID-19, now is as good a time as ever for Mark Warburton to start getting the best out of the youth he has at his disposal.
There isn’t a wealth of academy talent currently in the first team squad, with only 20-year-old midfielder Faysal Bettache on the fringes, but the likes of Olamide Shodipo and Aramide Oteh are out on loan gaining more experience.
The R’s run an under-23 development squad but also an under-18’s set-up, with former player Paul Furlong managing them in the Professional Development League – although they are bottom of the pile right now.
Lets look at three emerging Rangers talents that we could see line-up in the blue and white hoops before the end of 2021.
The Eze surname is familiar to R’s fans after the exploits of Ebere in recent years before his big-money move to Crystal Palace, and his younger brother is coming through the ranks as well.
Chimaechi is a regular fixture for Furlong’s side in the attack, and whilst they aren’t getting the results on the pitch right now, if Chima has half the talent of his older brother then QPR have a special player on their hands.
A summer signing from League Two side Southend United, Kelman has been used just three time by Warburton from the bench as QPR struggle to find the net on a consistent basis.
The American striker showed promise at the Shrimpers last season, netting five times in 18 appearances which convinced QPR’s top brass to pay an undisclosed fee for his services.
With Lyndon Dykes and Macauley Bonne not firing at the moment, it may be about time to give 19-year-old Kelman his chance to shine.
In his final season at under-18 level in 2018/19, Kendall netted 12 times in 16 games and earned himself a pro deal with the R’s.
He’s not been able to step up to the first team just yet, but Kendall has been spending time out on loan at Eastbourne Borough of the Vanarama South along with fellow youngster Kai Innocent.
Kendall is playing a key role in their attack and if QPR’s woes in-front of goal continue, the 20-year-old could be thrust into the first team in the second half of the campaign.