Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton has revealed the club will recall Macauley Bonne from Ipswich Town if necessary, potentially setting himself on a collision course with the 26-year-old as he spoke to West London Sport.
Bonne has been in fine form for Ipswich Town since his arrival at Portman Road in the summer, joining on a season-long loan deal as one of the Tractor Boys’ 19 summer signings, with Paul Cook looking to guide them back to the Championship at the third time of asking.
The Zimbabwe international may have spent much of his time waiting patiently on the bench at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium last term, but he has been one of the Suffolk side’s most influential players this season with an impressive 11 goals in 17 League One matches.
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With this, he has impressed just as much as teammates Sam Morsy and Conor Chaplin who were most established players in the second tier last term for Middlesbrough and Barnsley respectively – and is currently loving life back in his hometown after being given a new lease of life under Cook.
Speaking out last weekend to the East Anglian Daily Times, he even admitted he would be angry if the west London side were to recall him in January, stating his wish to remain at his loan side until the end of the season.
This is a wish that may not be granted though if one or two of Lyndon Dykes, Andre Gray or Charlie Austin suffer a longer-term injury that keeps them out during the winter period and beyond.
Whilst admitting he didn’t want to unsettle the 26-year-old at the peak of his temporary spell at Portman, Warburton stressed the need to do what’s best for QPR as he said: “Macauley is our player. It’s as simple as that. He’s gone out on loan to play games and get experience.
“Right now we’ve had some injuries to our strikers. If it’s the right thing to call Macauley back then absolutely we will do. If it’s not the right time then we won’t.
“We don’t want to unsettle a player on loan, but QPR pay his wages and he’s contracted to QPR, so we’ll do what’s right for QPR – and of course what’s right for Macauley as a player.
“If the loan is working well and we don’t need to bring him back then we won’t bring him back.
“However, on Friday night we only had one striker available. If the situation is such then we’ll act in the best interests of QPR.
“Overall, it’s about the club and our team and doing what’s right for QPR.
“So we’ll see what the situation is as we get towards January.”
Hopefully there is a clear line of communication between Bonne and his parent club, because this will soften the blow for all parties if he’s recalled to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium when January comes around, providing the R’s stance on his loan is made clear.
If he is recalled, he needs to get more time on the pitch than he did last season, because the second-tier side will have an extremely unhappy figure behind the scenes if the 26-year-old returns and fails to compete with the likes of Dykes, Gray and Austin.
Recruiting another loanee to compensate for injuries in the forward department may make sense because of this, but they will be reluctant to rely on too many temporary players as they look to build for the long term.
But recalling Bonne could have one major benefit. The third tier is more competitive this season with the quality of the teams at the top, but there is still a gulf in class between the Championship and League One so bringing him back during the winter window could allow the Zimbabwean to adapt back to the former for the remainder of the campaign.
This will then give him the platform to hit the ground running in west London next season if they are still competing in the second tier of English football.