Success at QPR in the foreseeable future largely depends on the youth players they have at their disposal, and that will remain the case under Mark Warburton.
Owner Tony Fernandes will reportedly cut the budget further next season, from £31 million to just £11m. Big earners Jake Bidwell, Paul Wszolek, Joel Lynch, Jordan Cousins and Alex Baptiste have all departed the club following their contracts expiring and it is unlikely that the manager will be given funds to reinvest.
QPR struggled for much of the season, aside from purple patches in October and over the Christmas period, and the signs aren’t good for the season ahead.
One bright light this season was Eberechi Eze. His talent shone through at times and his form has recently earned him an England u20 call-up. If he can continue his development he will be one of QPR’s key men going forward, and if he can be more productive next season, particularly in terms of goals, than any fears of relegation would be relaxed.
The west London club have a number of youth players coming through, with many having appeared under Steve McClaren this campaign.
Bright Osayi-Samuel, Ryan Manning and Darnell Furlong all got more game time this season, and it is likely that they will all play a more prominent role in the next campaign, particularly if QPR fail to replace their outgoings with permanent signings.
Also, Mark Warburton is a manager who likes to put his trust in youth. He may have no alternative at QPR, but at Brentford, he averaged the youngest starting line-up of any team in the 2014/15 season – Brentford’s only play-off finish in the Championship to date.
The acquisition of Warburton could prove a real coup for QPR. McClaren was perhaps harshly sacked, despite the poor run of form he was suffering he was still battling above expectation by keeping QPR clear of the relegation zone.
However, the former Rangers and Nottingham Forest boss could be the man to turn the tide around at QPR, whose only top-half finish in the last five years was a 12th placed position in 2015/16.
The squad currently looks threadbare without loan signings like Nahki Wells and Tomer Hemed. They could be sorely missed next season, their influence after coming in late on in summer after QPR’s horrendous start was crucial in getting QPR up and running, and if similar signings aren’t made next season QPR may not get up and running at all.