Queens Park Rangers sold Darnell Furlong to Championship leaders West Brom in the summer, but will the Londoners be regretting their decision now?
When Mark Warburton arrived at QPR in the summer, his first port of call was to get rid of the deadwood there – 17 players departed and 14 new ones came in as the Warburton-era began, and one of those departed was son of former R’s forward Paul Furlong, Darnell.
An academy graduate of the club where his father still works, Furlong moved to West Brom in the summer for an undisclosed fee in what at the time, seemed quite a strange transfer.
The 24-year-old spent five seasons in the first-team at QPR, spending much of his earlier time at the club out on-loan in the Football League.
He became more of a prominent figure in his last two seasons though playing a handful of Championship games, but still not really establishing himself as a first-team regular in West London.
Now though at West Brom, Slaven Bilic has made a first-team starter out of the right-back, who’s played in 18 of the Baggies’ 22 Championship games, and has become a much better player in the process.
It looks as though he’ll be playing in the Premier League next season and so it begs the question – why did Warburton sell him to a league rival, and why so cheap?
Furlong went to West Brom for buttons which is more than surprising – QPR have been in some financial turmoil of late but were they really that desperate that they needed to sell a young, home-grown player to a fellow Championship club for next to nothing?
Perhaps he just wasn’t a ‘Warburton-player’ – soon after his appointment he stripped club-captain Toni Leistner of the role and handed it to Grant Hall, dropping the German to the bench for the first few games for no apparent reason.
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As Warburton and co. worked relentlessly in the summer to reduce the club’s wage bill, and bring in as much money as possible, the sale of Furlong now seems a bit extreme.
Given how well he’s doing under Bilic, it’s baffling why Warburton was so quick to move him on in the summer – QPR signed a right-back in Todd Kane and kept Angel Rangel on for another season, but both are different wing-backs to Furlong and arguably, neither are as good.
Warburton will surely be ruing the transfer now and QPR fans also – a good player in his time at QPR but now, they must watch on as he succeeds in a different kind of blue and white.