Queens Park Rangers are 5th in the Championship, and having a good maiden season under Mark Warburton – but will their reliance on loan-players eventually unhinge them?
Once upon a time, QPR were the signings the likes of Loic Remy, Djibril Cisse and Shaun Wright-Phillips on mega-contracts to try and establish themselves in the Premier League.
As many will know, it didn’t work out, and QPR have been paying for their free-spending days now.
The club was hit with a record-breaking FFP fine in 2018, and oversaw three-straight transfer embargoes to soften the blow – only this summer were QPR allowed to buy players again.
It’s meant that in recent seasons, there’s been a different approach in recruitment.
One, the appointment of Les Ferdinand as Director of Football and secondly, making use of loan and free signings.
Nahki Wells and Geoff Cameron were two that joined on-loan last season, and both have returned this season after impressing in the last.
This summer though was the big one for QPR, with 14 new faces coming through the doors.
The majority of them loan or free signings, and the pick of the bunch being the second-loan acquisition of Wells from Burnley and the loan signing of Jordan Hugill from West Ham.
QPR reliance on loan-signings is one was of necessity, and in all fairness it’s not an over-reliance – it’s more the fact that their two top-scorers are loanees.
The pair have 13 goals between them this season, and fans are loving their partnership. But what about when they’re gone?
Will QPR be promoted from the Championship this season?
Wells has stated that he’d love to stay at the club but even so, the next best striker actually at the club is Aramide Oteh – a 21-year-old forward who’s scored one goal all season on-loan at Bradford City.
This is something that fans will be well aware of but in the midst of such a strong start to the season, it’s willingly been forced to the back of people’s minds.
Come next summer, whatever league QPR find themselves in, they will need to spend some money on some permanent transfer.
If they make it to the Premier League, they’ll start the summer with a striker partnership of Wells (who’d likely join given promotion) and Oteh – a recipe for Championship football within a year.
There’s nothing wrong with making use of the loan market, QPR have used it effectively in recent seasons. But they need to think about the next season and the next, and stop relying on loanees each and every summer.