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Feature: How QPR must outsmart the market this summer



The 2019/20 season has been one of steady improvement for Queens Park Rangers after years of financial trouble and stagnation.

Despite having almost no money to invest in the transfer market over the summer, Mark Warburton has built a team comprising of promising young talent and free agents, and the results have been rather impressive.

Currently sat 13th in the Championship table, the R’s are well clear of the relegation places and have even started looking up at the playoff places.

A run of six matches unbeaten has seen them move to within just six points of the top six and with a favourable run of fixtures remaining, a playoff spot is not as improbable as it once looked.

The suspension of football until April 30 at the earliest could wreak havoc with this ambition, but provided the season is finished as usual they are in with an outside shot.

Looking further ahead to the summer transfer window though and the club will have pull off a repeat of the smart business they completed last year.

Still recovering from the £17m fine issued in 2018 for contravening Financial Fair Play regulations, the club sold Massimo Luongo, Darnell Furlong, Luke Freeman and Josh Scowen last summer, replacing them with free agents Dom Ball, Geoff Cameron, Todd Kane, Yoann Barbet and Marc Pugh.

Meanwhile, Warburton brought in Nahki Wells and Jordan Hugill on loan and offered more prominent roles to exciting young attackers such as Eberechi Eze, Bright Osayi-Samuel and Ilias Chair.

So far this approach has been rewarded, with Barbet, Ball and Cameron establishing themselves as first team regulars, and Eze, Osayi-Samuel and Chair significantly stepping up their production.

Eze and Osayi-Samuel have both attracted interest following their performances this season and QPR director of football Les Ferdinand has admitted the club could be forced to sell two of their prized assets.

While their sale would weaken the team in the short term, it would give them a bigger transfer fund with which to invest this summer.

The free agent market will once again be important and with plenty of Championship players set to see their current deals expire in the summer there is value to be had.

However, with clubs likely to have less money to spend than in the past due to a loss of revenue while the season is suspended, it is going to be a competitive market and QPR will have to be smart once again.

One area they definitely need to recruit in is up at centre-forward, with Wells departing for Bristol City in January and Hugill returning to West Ham in the summer.

Finding a striker than can guarantee you goals is easier said than done and aside from Lyle Taylor and Rudy Gestede, there are very few players in the domestic market that have a proven record at this level.

Another concern is the progress of some of the other young players coming through the academy.

Aramide Oteh, Olamide Shodipo and Ody Alfa are all highly thought of, but Shodipo has not made a league appearance this term and Alfa has spent this season on loan in non-league football.

Furthermore, Eze and Osayi-Samuel have scored 17 goals and provided 15 assists between them this season, which is a huge level of output for the team to replace.

Nonetheless, the club showed their ability to be creative last summer and there should be some faith among the fanbase that they can do so again.

Warburton must also take some credit, with the coach showing his ability to get the best out of a group of players thrown together at varying stages in their careers and provided the investment is savvy and they are able to get fair prices for any outgoings, there is no reason he cannot build on his work next season too.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: Feature: How QPR must outsmart the market this summer

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