Mark Warburton has made an excellent start to life as QPR boss.
The west London side spent large parts of last season trying to keep out of the relegation zone but in the 2019/20 campaign, they’ve been in and around the play-off places.
The Hoops are eighth in the Championship as things stand, only outside the top six on goal difference.
Some of the summer arrivals have played important roles in that, including Jordan Hugill, who has hit the ground running and scored five goals already.
One player who has had an impact after returning to the club in the summer is Ilias Chair. The 21-year-old spent the second half of last season on loan with Stevenage, scoring six goals and providing six assists, and has been a regular fixture in Warburton’s side this season.
According to talkSPORT, the club are now set to reward the midfielder with a new three-year deal.
We put a spotlight on his performances so far this season to see whether that is a good move.
Chair has played 479 minutes across seven appearances for QPR this season and has fought his way into Warburton’s starting line-up. At the beginning of the campaign, he was just used as a substitute in the league but on the back of some impressive performances, the Moroccan has started the last two Championship fixtures–both of which the R’s have won.
It seems Warburton prefers to use Chair as an attacking midfielder, a position he has played in both the Championship games he has started, or to bring him on in central midfield to add attacking impetus.
That is likely because of the high energy and positivity he can bring to the side. The 21-year-old is always looking to push his side forward and create opportunities in the box, as evidenced by his average of 1.32 shot assists, 7.52 dribbles and 5.07 crosses per game.
Chair is not afraid of getting himself in the box either and has in the past proved himself a significant goal threat–he scored six goals in 16 appearances for Stevenage last season. He has not quite found the net with that regularity yet, adding just one goal, but has been busy in the penalty area and has averaged 4.13 touches in the opposition box per game.
He has earned the faith of the new QPR manager, which says a lot, and though he has only added one goal and one assist so far, that production will likely improve with an extended run in the side.
Chair has proven himself a useful player and is becoming an important part of the side already but the 21-year-old should continue to develop and get even better over the next few years.
Locking him down to a new long-term deal now looks a smart move.