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 were linked with a move for Bournemouth defender Steve Cook before Christmas, as per a report from Football Insider.
Since then, Nottingham Forest have emerged as an interested party in the 30-year-old.
Yesterday, the Daily Mail confirmed that it was in fact the R’s who were leading the race for the veteran defender, with both clubs making enquiries.
Quiz: Can you name which club QPR sold these 26 players to?
Cook has been limited to very few Championship minutes this season, falling down the pecking order under Scott Parker’s stewardship.
Three of our writers here at FLW have shared their thoughts as to whether Cook would be a regular starter at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium…
You feel this could leave QPR boss Mark Warburton with a rather tough call to make.
Admittedly, there may be opportunities for him to do that, given Warburton has used a back three for much of the season so far, meaning there is a need for several options at centre back.
But with Rob Dickie, Yoan Barbet and summer signing Jimmy Dunne all well established in those positions, it may be hard to justify a change to that defensive three, simply because of the potential arrival of Cook.
That being said, with other clubs seemingly also keen, Cook may need to be confident of regular game time at QPR if he is to be convinced that this is the right move for him to make next month, so there could be a balancing act for Warburton to carry out here, although Cook would certainly not be a bad addition for him to have to fit into his defensive options.
Cook will only be a guaranteed start at QPR if Jordy de Wijs’ fitness issues continue to persist in the coming months.
When de Wijs has been fit enough to feature, he has delivered some impressive displays for the R’s in the Championship.
Currently averaging a WhoScored match rating of 6.96 at this level, the Dutchman has illustrated that he is more than capable of thriving in the second-tier.
Cook’s arrival at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium may force the likes of Rob Dickie, Yoann Barbet and Jimmy Dunne to step up their performance levels as he will boost the competition for places.
This is a move that I can fully get behind.
Cook is an excellent player at Championship level, and it is very unfortunate that he finds himself in a position at Bournemouth where he is the club’s fourth-choice central defender.
Cook would start for the vast majority of teams in the division in my opinion, with QPR being one of those teams.
His experience, leadership and physical traits, all make him a dependable and reliable option, whilst he has the technical ability to meet the modern demands of defending.
Cook has all the traits to shine at a promotion-aspiring club like QPR and would surely be a regular should a move to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium be sanctioned.