The Michael Beale era began at QPR on the 1st of June with Steven Gerrard’s former assistant leaving Aston Villa to become Mark Warburton’s permanent replacement.
That Gerrard was keen to keep him at Villa Park highlights how well thought of the 41-year-old coach is but he’s got some work to do at the Championship club in the coming months as his squad needs to be strengthened if he’s to build on Warburton’s success from last season.
One position that obviously needs bolstering is left-back with the R’s two first choice options from 2021/22 – Lee Wallace and Sam McCallum – no longer at the west London club.
McCallum has returned to parent club Norwich City at the end of his loan move and looks likely to feature in Dean Smith’s first team squad after they were relegated to the Championship while Wallace, now 34, was released at the end of his contract.
Quiz: Are these 20 QPR transfer facts true or false?
Today, West London Sport have reported that the R’s have reignited their interest in Fortuna Sittard defender George Cox as they look to solve their left-back issue.
The W12 outfit are said to have been interested in Cox last summer but were unable to bring him to Loftus Road.
However, with just a year left on his current deal it seems a move may be easier to orchestrate this time around while the defender is thought to be keen to secure a return to England – having started his career at Brighton.
Defensively the 24-year-old is solid – as his 7.04 defensive duels (62.4% success), 5.36 interceptions, and 2.5 clearances per 90 in 2021/22 highlight (Wyscout) – and he has featured as both a left-back and wing-back during his time with the Dutch club.
Over the past three seasons, he’s also showcased his qualities in the final third. Indeed to add to his eight goals and eight assists for Fortuna Sittard, Cox averages 1.03 progressive runs, 0.7 shot assists, 2.37 crosses (24.6% success), and 1.9 dribbles (57.1% success) per 90 while he’s won 48.2% of his offensive duels.
He’s clearly a player that the west London club rate highly, given they moved for him last summer and are set to do so again this time around, while a cut-price deal could be on the cards given his contract situation.
All in all, making progress toward solving a squad issue by securing Cox as Beale’s first signing would be a wise step into the new era at the club.