Queens Park Rangers are on the brink of losing left-back Ryan Manning in the summer, and it could mean an unlikely position swap for this experience defender.
With Newcastle United and Southampton continuing to monitor the progress of QPR’s Ryan Manning, the risk of losing him in January is ever-growing.
His contract at the club expires next summer and with negotiations stalling the club might push a move for Manning in January.
With that, it leaves a creative void on the left of QPR’s defence.
At the start of the season, QPR didn’t have a recognised left-back at the club, and Manning was deployed in that position from central midfield.
The move’s paid dividends and should he leave in January, Mark Warburton could be forced to play Lee Wallace on the left side.
He only made his debut for the club against Leeds United last weekend, but already he looks set to be a regular in Warburton’s first-team for the remainder of the season.
Wallace, 32, will probably not want to feature at left-back, but he’s the next-best option after Manning.
With the rumours surrounding the Irishman Wallace will likely have the thought in the back of his mind, that his manager will be lining him up for left-back.
He’s a player who’s never been blessed with pace but if QPR’s defensive woes continue, Warburton may well deploy Wallace on the left to give the side that added solidity on the flank.
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Manning, for all his quality, is one of these new-era full-backs who’ve got plenty of attacking intent, but maybe lack in the defensive department.
Wallace is the opposite. A hardened centre-back of Rangers in the past, he showed his worth on Saturday with a goal-saving tackle on Patrick Bamford in the first-half, and a solid performance throughout.
He’ll be grateful for his debut, and happy that he managed to impress. Even if he has to play in an unfamiliar role after January, he’ll still be grateful of the game-time given his lack of in past seasons having suffered through long-term injuries.
Wallace isn’t the kind of player to kick-up a fuss, and his experiences in the game would make him a top player in any position along the back-line.