Queens Park Rangers manager Mark Warburton has said the 2021/22 campaign will be a ‘big one’ for Rob Dickie, amid the 25-year-old’s links to Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers.
The centre-back has scored an impressive four goals in six competitive games so far this season, although it’s his defensive prowess that has alerted Premier League sides to his signature less than 12 months after arriving at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
He was competing in League One with Oxford United before his move to QPR, joining the U’s in January 2018 from Championship side Reading, who saw the defender rise through the ranks at the Select Car Leasing Stadium but had his pitch time limited by the likes of Liam Moore and Tiago Ilori.
12 of these 25 QPR facts are fake – Can you identify them?
In taking the step down to the Kassam Stadium, Dickie established himself as a key figure under Karl Robinson before his move to QPR last August, joining Mark Warburton’s side on a four-year deal.
The 25-year-old has continued to impress even after taking the step up and made 43 appearances in the Championship last term, leading the west London side to an impressive ninth-place finish in the second tier.
He is set to be a key player for the R’s once again this season, but could potentially be poached by Leeds United and Wolverhampton Wanderers who are both said to be considering moves for the centre-back to bring him to the top flight.
QPR boss Warburton believes his future lies in the Championship for now though – and speaking to West London Sport about his treasured asset at the back, the 58-year-old said: “He’s (Dickie) got the confidence, strikes a clean ball and has got the technique.
“He’ll keep on improving. The Championship teaches you – as a centre-half you have to learn lessons really quickly. He’s taken those lessons on board.
“This season for Rob is a really big one – to keep on that education and keep on learning.
“All credit to him, he’s doing so well, learning and performing at a really consistent level right now.
“He’s doing well, developing really nicely for us and long may that continue.”
Although Rob Dickie stated his desire to play Premier League football at some point, he said his priorities currently lie with QPR and his professionalism is why a move for the 25-year-old is unlikely to go through during this window.
Eventually, he will probably move up to the top flight but he needs first-team football more than anything else at this stage of his career and he will continue to be a regular starter at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, barring any loss of form, injuries and suspensions.
At Leeds and Wolves, it’s uncertain whether he would start ahead of those who have already gone on to establish themselves as regular Premier League players, so any rushed move now could be detrimental to his development.
After only leaving Reading a couple of years ago after failing to receive sufficient first-team opportunities, Warburton is right in pointing out he will only get better and another season in the Championship would be the most beneficial for Dickie at this stage.
Next summer will then be the time when he can reassess his future with another campaign of second-tier football under his belt.