This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
QPR’s win over promotion hopefuls Leeds United at the weekend may have provided manager Mark Warburton with a moment of satisfaction but will have done little to allay his fears about his side’s topsy-turvy season, that has seen them pick up two wins and suffer three defeats in their last five outings, leaving them 14th in the Championship, seven points off the play-off places.
In an attempt to turn the tide, Warburton is on the look-out for new recruits though, with a move for talented West Brom youngster Rekeem Harper being considered by the Hoops, according to the print edition of the Sun on Sunday (January 19, Page 65).
So would Harper prove a hit at Loftus Road and is he actually needed?
“This would be a smart bit of business for the R’s.
“Even though Harper is a long way away from the West Brom team right now, it’s important to remember how good he was last season. The 19-year-old featured regularly for a side that reached the play-offs and emerged as one of the top talents in the league.
“So, he would add a lot to the QPR team and he would bring qualities that the team currently lack, whilst they are also short on numbers in the middle of the park as well.
“With Albion looking to get the youngster game time, this is a move that could suit all parties.”
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“Every club in the Championship knows about Rekeem Harper – he’s a bright, young midfielder for West Brom who looks set to have a big future at the club. But with game-time at The Hawthorns coming pretty thin for Harper, Slaven Bilic will seek a loan-move for the 19-year-old this month.
“QPR makes sense from the Baggies’ perspective – Mark Warburton is a manager famed and respected for his work with younger players (hence why Tottenham chose to loan Jack Clarke to them), and Harper would no doubt improve at the West London club.
“Whether he’s needed at QPR though is a different question – QPR have been pretty blessed with their lack of injuries this season, and have a decent amount of central players too. Going into the second-half of the season though, extra numbers are always needed and will always get a run-out.
“I think he’d be a good signing for any club. Harper would likely be back-up at QPR still, but he’d get more game-time than he would at West Brom. QPR need defenders though, and they should look to spend their money elsewhere.”
“Harper has shown plenty of signs of promise in his West Brom career to date, but the strength in depth in their current side means he has found playing time hard to come by this term, so he could benefit from a loan move at this stage.
“QPR would be a good option for the midfielder given they are not directly challenging West Brom for promotion at present, while Harper should show further signs of development working under a good coach in Mark Warburton.
“However, I’m not sure whether QPR will press ahead with this deal given they are not in desperate need of a midfielder at the moment, and I think they would be better served by putting their energy into recruiting a defensive player.
“Harper would certainly add some welcome depth to the QPR side if they can get him on board, but I don’t think it should be the Rs’ priority this window.”