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…
Championship side Blackburn Rovers are interested in recruiting Fulham midfielder and former Queens Park Rangers player Stefan Johansen, according to the Lancashire Telegraph.
Stewart Downing, Corry Evans and Lewis Holtby have all left Ewood Park this summer and Tony Mowbray desperate to get a midfielder in with a wealth of experience in the Championship, Johansen is on their list of targets to pursue once they exit their transfer embargo.
The 30-year-old Norwegian has spent time in the second tier with Fulham, West Brom, and more recently, Queens Park Rangers in the Championship – although Rovers may pip the latter to the post for the midfielder if they receive the green light from the EFL to spend money on players.
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QPR are currently not under the same restrictions, potentially giving them an advantage over Mowbray’s side in the race for the Norwegian, whose contract expires next summer.
Because of this, Fulham may be willing to negotiate a cut-price deal, but who will get their first?
We asked a few of our FLW whether QPR should look to re-sign Stefan Johansen amid these latest Blackburn links.
Johansen really impressed me during his loan spell last season and Mark Warburton should be doing all he can to bring him back.
The Norweigan’s influence in midfield was vital for the R’s during their strong finish to the 2020/21 campaign, while he’d started to show the form in the final third that had him scoring and creating goals for fun when he first joined Fulham.
On top of that, he’s got experience sealing promotion and that could be vital if Warburton wants to challenge at that end of the table next season.
In the likes of Luke Amos, Sam Field, and Dominic Ball, QPR have some strong midfield options but they’re all relatively young and a seasoned campaigner like Johansen might be needed to lead them.
I definitely think that QPR should be pushing to get an agreement done here.
Johansen was outstanding for Mark Warburton’s side during the second half of last season, when he played a big part in the excellent form that the club ended the campaign in.
As a result, it would surely be a huge lift for QPR if they were to bring him back for the coming season, having already done that with their other loanees such as Charlie Austin, Sam Field and Jordy De Wijs, meaning getting the Norwegian would give them the blueprint to replicate that form of the previous few months.
Indeed, having quickly made himself a popular figure with the QPR fanbase, you do feel this is a deal that would go down rather well at the club, further helping to lift the spirits ahead of the return to action in August, while signing Johansen would prevent the risk of him returning to haunt them with a Championship rival next season.
With that in mind, it does seem like an absolute no-brainer for QPR to try and look to secure a new deal for the midfielder this summer.
Absolutely. He made such a difference last season for Mark Warburton, so it would make sense for them to consider going back in for Johansen.
QPR have got the likes of Jordy De Wijs, Charlie Austin and Sam Field back, with Johansen the last of their loan quartet to sign up.
Fulham’s relegation back into the Championship and interest from elsewhere in the Championship might be the reason for that, but I do feel like if QPR are serious about getting Johansen back, they’ve got a good chance.
The location is ideal for the 30-year-old, whilst they can also offer him regular football and a chance to play in a system he’s familiarised himself with.
QPR was a good fit for him last year and you’d like to think that a stern attempt to re-sign him is just around the corner.