Queens Park Ranger’s striker Jan Mlakar was on the score-sheet for Slovenia Under-21s last night, but will that be enough to involve him in Mark Warburton’s plans for the weekend?
QPR travel to Hull City at the weekend as they resume their Championship campaign under Mark Warburton.
It’s so far so good for the former Brentford manager. QPR sit 9th-place in the Championship with just one point separating them from Bristol City in 6th.
Their newly developed brand of football has taken fans by storm, and the emergence of the likes of Ilias Chair, Ebere Eze and co have please the Loftus Road faithful.
One player who’s not been so involved though is Jan Mlakar.
Mlakar is the club’s third loanee striker joining Nahki Wells (Burnley) and Jordan Hugill (West Ham), having arrived in West London on a season-long loan from Brighton.
The 20-year-old striker has started just once in the Carabao Cup for Warburton this season, making a few in the Championship as a late substitute.
He arrived at the club with some pedigree, having netted 13 in 26 games for Slovenian side Maribor last season.
But the Brighton striker had no place in new manager Graham Potter’s plans, and was shipped out to QPR for a season.
His first goal in any competition this season came last night when he scored from the penalty spot for the Slovenian Under-21 side in their 1-0 victory at home to Hungary Under-21.
Mlakar will have known that Warburton had signed him as a back-up striker to the more experienced Wells and Hugill, who’ve so far this season scored 13 between them in all competitions.
And still at only 20-years-old, Mlakar shouldn’t feel too aggrieved with the amount of time he’s played for QPR this season.
His goal last night will certainly have been noted by Warburton, and he may look to give Mlakar more appearances off the bench to get him up to speed for a starting spot should one of Wells or Hugill become injured.
This season will be a waiting game for Mlakar. He’ll surely be called upon at some stage throughout the season, and could well play an important part with his side chasing a play-off spot.
For now though, he’ll have to make himself comfortable on the bench. Wells and Hugill’s goal-scoring form would keep many a striker out of the team, but Mlakar will be there waiting for either of them to drop off.