Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton has suggested that he wants the club to try and re-sign all four of Charlie Austin, Sam Field, Stefan Johansen and Jordy De Wijs following their loan spells with the club.
All four players arrived at QPR in the winter window and have played vital roles in helping to transform their form and lift them from 20th place in the table all the way up to a 9th placed finish. Warburton’s side have been amongst the most in-form teams in the division during the second half of the campaign and that has been down to the excellent January window they enjoyed.
Johansen and Field have come into the midfield and provided real quality in and out of possession and they have enhanced their ability to control games from the middle of the park. Austin’s experience has been vital upfront as has the eight goals he chipped in with, while De Wijs has helped to steady the ship at the back at times.
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Speaking to West London Sport, Warburton outlined his ambition to try and keep hold of all four player if they can do next season. However, he admitted that QPR would need to be ready with potential alternative targets in case moves for them did not materialise.
He said: “With Charlie, Stefan, Jordy and Sam we have been very lucky. They have adapted to our style of play and it suits their games and they have suited us perfectly. That doesn’t often happen.
“You can get loans where it is difficult and you have young players who can’t adapt, but in this case it has worked out really well for us.
“They have embraced the way we play. They are footballers who want to get on the ball, be brave and play forward. All these things you hear managers say, they sound like the same old rhetoric, but the fact is that every party benefited.
“Do they enjoy coming to work to play for QPR? I think the answer is yes. I hope very much we can (sign them) but you never know and you always have to have alternatives.
“But I can’t speak highly enough of the contribution all of them have made and the way the rest of the squad have responded. Let’s see what the summer does.”
It is rare that a club’s January business has such a massive impact on their campaign like what QPR’s has done for them this season. The Rs were staring into the prospect of a real relegation battle heading into the second half of the campaign. However, the arrivals of the four players transformed their quality and the balance of the side and made them one of the best sides in the league.
Were QPR to be able to re-sign them all next season, then you could imagine they will potentially be a real threat to anyone they come up against next term. Field, De Wijs and Austin look to be players that they could get over the line if they really wanted to in the summer. Although they might have other potential options but all look to have their futures away from parent clubs.
However, Johansen’s future could well depend on what happens with Fulham’s quest to stay in the Premier League. Were they to be relegated then the midfielder would be an excellent option for them to keep hold off because he is a strong player at this level. QPR might therefore face a nervous wait for that one.