Few clubs in the Championship did better business in the 2021 January window than QPR, who agreed loan moves for a number of players that remain key parts of the side 10 months on.
With 10 teams sitting within four points of the top six, the race for the play-offs looks set to be as tight as ever this season and repeating their winter window magic from nearly a year ago could be the difference between the R’s making the cut or falling short.
However, it could be that the key focus this January is on keeping current players at Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium rather than bringing new ones in.
There are a number of players in Mark Warburton’s squad that will have caught the attention of clubs elsewhere ahead of the upcoming window and Rob Dickie is among those – but it is vital they do all they can to keep hold of him.
The acquistion of Dickie from Oxford United in the summer of 2020 was a fantastic bit of business, with the centre-back establishing himself among the best players at his position over the past 14 months.
His form has not gone unnoticed and Football League World exclusively revealed this morning that West Ham United have made checks on the situation concerning the 25-year-old following the recent injury to Angelo Ogbonna.
The Hammers have had success raiding the Championship for talent in the past and it seems Dickie and Middlesbrough’s Dael Fry are the latest second tier players on their radar.
It’s not the first time the R’s defender has been linked with a Premier League move, in fact reports had Leeds United, Newcastle United and Wolves as the interested parties late in the summer window, but the ACL suffered by Ogbonna does seem to give David Moyes a strong motive to swoop for him when January rolls around.
Warburton has been open about the club’s transfer policy concerning Dickie in the past, suggesting that he would be available but only on their terms and at their price.
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It remains to be seen what that price will be but losing the centre-back could well prove fatal to the R’s hopes of promotion and should be avoided if at all possible.
For all their impressive attacking football, QPR have hardly been rock solid at the back this term – conceding the most goals in the top six and more than two of the clubs in the bottom three – so losing their best defensive asset would likely only make that area more of a weakness and could derail their play-off push.
It’s unrealistic to think the R’s can keep hold of him forever but midway through a season in which it seems they have a real chance of fighting for a spot in the Premier League is surely the wrong time to cash in.