This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
QPR have made a very strong start to the Championship season after a successful summer transfer window where they made significant additions to improve Mark Warburton’s squad.
The last arrival at QPR during a busy summer was Andre Gray who arrived from Watford on a season-long loan deal to round off the Rs’ transfer activity.
Gray is a player that Warburton is known to admire from their time together at Brentford and he arrives to bolster an already strong group of attacking options at QPR.
Lyndon Dykes has started the campaign in good form after a good end to last season. The forward has managed to fire home three goals in his first four league appearances, one of which came from the bench last time out against Coventry City.
While Charlie Austin also arrived in the summer on a permanent deal from West Brom after his impressive loan spell last term. He has managed to score once in his first four league games of the campaign.
So with QPR now adding Gray to the mix alongside Dykes and Austin, we asked our FLW writers whether the Rs now have the strongest attack in the Championship…
In terms of the depth of natural out-and-out strikers at this level, you’d struggle to find many options better than QPR’s.
You do have to consider though that Andre Gray perhaps isn’t the player he once was, having only found the back of the net five times for Watford last season in the Championship but working under Mark Warburton again could give him a new lease of life.
Charlie Austin is a natural finisher and scored eight times in 21 matches last season – with a full campaign at Loftus Road under his belt he can easily be a double-figure goalscorer once again.
Lyndon Dykes is the most intriguing option though having had a tough first half of the 2020-21 campaign, with the Scotland international ending the previous campaign on 12 goals and he already has three in his first four matches this season.
There’s obviously better strikers in the division – Aleksandar Mitrovic at Fulham is one but we have no idea how good his new understudy Rodrigo Muniz is whilst West Brom have Jordan Hugill and Karlan Grant who have both scored goals at this level.Sheffield United as well have a plethora of Championship-proven strikers although they’re yet to start firing this season, however on paper you’d have to put QPR at the top end of the table when it comes to attacking options.
20 quiz questions about QPR’s 2021/22 season so far – Can you score full marks?
There’s no doubting Mark Warburton has some great players at his disposal at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium – but have they really got the best-attacking department? I’m not so sure.
Gray has been a fantastic goalscorer in the past, but you have to question his scoring record for a side who were promoted automatically last season.
Scoring five goals in 30 league appearances last term when you have the likes of Ismaila Sarr alongside you isn’t that impressive.
Lyndon Dykes scored over half of that (12) in 42 appearances and will continue to be a great asset again, along with Charlie Austin who scored at a rate of one goal in three games in his loan spell in west London last term.
Collectively, they will do very well, but you also have to take a look at some of the recently-relegated teams.
They may not be performing well right now but Sheffield United have the likes of Oli McBurnie, Lys Mousset, Billy Sharp, Rhian Brewster, David McGoldrick and Dan Jebbison at their disposal, although the latter is currently on a loan spell.
West Brom have Callum Robinson, Karlan Grant and Jordan Hugill. Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic and Rodrigo Muniz could cause major problems in the second tier.
So whilst their attack is definitely up there, I’m not sure you can say it’s the best at the moment.
It’s certainly up there.
Dykes and Austin with the likes of Ilias Chair and Chris Willock in behind them made for a good attack anyway, but this just gives QPR extra depth and options in terms of players right at the top of the field.
Gray offers something a little different to Austin, who’s a poacher, and Dykes, who’s a bit of a target man, in the sense that he can use that pace he’s got to beat a man and also beat offside traps.
It gives QPR new possibilities going forwards and I think plenty of defences are going to find it difficult to deal with all that the Hoops can now throw at them in the coming weeks and months.
Certainly, it’s one of the best attacks about.