Ian Holloway’s QPR are neither threatened by relegation, nor challenging for promotion.
Despite a run of one win in five games, they remained wedged in the middle of the pack, slowly treading water as the season peters out.
Already they must have one eye on rebuilding for next season and with just eight goals in eight games, they’ll be looking to address both creativity and finishing if they’re to improve next time out.
Whilst many Championship sides will be enjoying the benefit of parachute payments next season, Holloway will have to make do with his regular budget.
That being the case, it might be wise to cast an eye down to the two divisions below and look for raw talent there. One player who has caught the eye in League Two is Luton Town’s midfielder Luke Berry, an August capture from rivals Cambridge United who is thought to have cost around £150,000.
Here, FLW look at Berry’s stats and ask the question, could he be a fit at QPR?
25-year old Berry was one of the leading lights at the Abbey Stadium, making 255 appearances in two spells with the club. League Two leaders Luton Town lured him to Kenilworth Road at the beginning of the season, handing him his first start away at Lincoln City in September.
Since then he has established himself as a vital part of the Hatters midfield, capable of creating goals and scoring them too. He’s hit seven this season, including a hat trick as Luton crushed Stevenage 7-1. He’s created four goals for the free-scoring Hatters, but those are just two aspects of his all round game.
He spent a short while at Barnsley which indicates he has the potential to step up, something that might just make him more attractive to Ian Holloway. He’s got a shot conversion rate of 20%, quite tidy for a central midfielder who has responsibilities outside of scoring and making goals.
He’s a tough-tackler too, not afraid to do the dirty work as 6 yellow card attests to. He’s got a bit of quality on the ball which has helped him stand out in League Two, perhaps not hard at a mid table side such as Cambridge but significantly tougher with the league leaders.
Having won 62 fouls, he’s clearly someone who likes to battle for possession and finds himself targeted by opposition players. He’ll scrap for the ball in the middle of the park and help break up play.
He’s made 32 appearances for Luton as they press on towards the League Two title, with a further three in Cambridge colours ahead of his move. His Barnsley switch might not have worked out how he’d like, but he’s still young enough to make the step up.
Could he fit in at QPR? It would be a step up but he’s proven to be in the thick of the action in League Two this season, a division defined by the contrast of skilful and slick sides such as Luton, but mixed with lots of tough tacklers and aggressive approaches. If he can thrive there, why not at QPR?
He might not be an immediate starter, but he’s young enough to earn the right to play first team football at Loftus Road. He’s not unlike Lee Frecklington who emerged from League Two to star in the Championship for Rotherham and Peterborough and as he’s based in the south, he’d be a perfect fit for QPR.
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