Bright Osayi-Samuel’s future is likely to dominate the headlines concerning QPR during the January window but the west London club need to be wary of losing another of their key men following recent reports.
The Sunday Mirror (03/01, p73) has claimed that Arsenal, Crystal Palace, and Leeds United are all keeping tabs on R’s goalkeeper Seny Dieng.
It is understood that the Premier League trio are all keen to bolster their options between the sticks and see Dieng as potential cover for their first-choice shot-stoppers.
QPR have slid down the Championship table over the past month or so, having not won since late-November, and now find themselves just two points above the bottom three.
They will not like to admit it to themselves but they’re facing a relegation battle at the moment and letting Dieng leave this month could be a hammer blow to their hopes of survival.
That may seem a crazy thing to suggest given that the R’s finished 13th with the 26-year-old out on loan last season but having cemented his place in Mark Warburton’s side, the keeper has quickly become one of their best performers.
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The Hoops man has the sixth-best prevented goals ratings in the Championship this season and averages the most aerial duels per 90 of any keeper in the division, according to Wyscout, which illustrates that he is not just a good shot-stopper but someone that is comfortable collecting balls into the area to defuse opposition attacks.
In games like the recent 1-1 draw against league leaders Norwich City, Dieng’s contribution to the result cannot be underestimated.
Not only that, the consistency that he has brought may have meant that R’s fans have quickly forgotten about the negativity that the goalkeeping situation – and the all too often mistakes at the position – caused last term. A repeat of that is the last thing they need now.
The importance of a quality keeper in a relegation battle cannot be underestimated and that should be playing on the minds of Les Ferdinand and co. if there is any contact about the Senegalese player.
In Ebere Eze they’ve already last season’s best player and it seems Osayi-Samuel could be set to follow this month, allowing Dieng to leave as well would be a huge mistake for the R’s and could be fatal for their hopes of survival.