Queens Park Rangers’ defence last season was suspect, to say the least.
With 70 goals conceded, it was only a strong attacking effort that prevented the club from being dragged into a relegation scrap. As they were particularly vulnerable from the wings, Steve McClaren must be looking at recruiting full-backs. In terms of exciting prospects, he could do little better than look at Chelsea’s Jay Dasilva.
The 20-year old had a senior season to match his promising youth development at Charlton last season. Having spent last summer captaining England’s under-19 team to victory at the European Under-19 Championship, he seemed determined to build on the experience. Then, in making 38 appearances and winning the club’s Fans Player of the Year award, the diminutive left-back showed that he was able to make the step up. Blessed with strength and speed, Dasilva offers a potent attacking threat as well as the ability to get back to cover quickly.
It may be that over time he is tried further up the pitch, but this experience at the back is instilling a defensive mind-set that will stick with him wherever he plays. This will offer whoever plays him greater flexibility in the middle of games. Given McClaren’s tendency to regularly change formations, this would fit well with the current set-up at Loftus Road.
It is to be expected that Charlton will be keen to keep Dasilva, but QPR will be able to offer Championship football without having to move out of London. He is ready for the step up. McClaren should offer him a hand up.