QPR's Biggest Summer Transfer Window Needs to Get Rangers Back into the EPL
Queens Park Rangers have a lot of things to sort out this summer. And one of them is building a team that isn't paid more than the Queen and can play solid football in the Championship.
The transfer possibilities for a relegated club are usually limited. But with so many players on such high wages at the club, if Tony Fernandes can clear some of the deadwood this summer, this could leave a substantial amount for Harry Redknapp to bargain with in order to sign sensible footballers.
The team needs to be built around the Clint Hill prototype: a strong player, a good leader and a player who gives it all. The one good thing about relegation is that there is a very slim chance any Champions League winners would be tempted to join the club.
But what are the biggest transfer needs for Queens Park Rangers this summer in order for this club to return to the Premier League quickly and efficiently?
Here are the most important needs for QPR and the players they should be looking at to fill those roles.
Depending on who stays, any of Junior Hoilett, Shaun Wright-Phillips and Jamie Mackie on the right wing need cover behind them and need a player who can run the flank outside of them to provide assistance in attack.
But who could fill that role?
If a young up-and-coming star is the key, then who better than Burnley right-back Kieran Trippier?
The 22-year-old made the Championship team of the season this year, and his pace and attacking nous has been admired. With 11 assists, his ability to provide for the attackers cannot be disputed. Combine that with his defensive qualities, and you have a very good young defender. And the England U-20 manager thought so too.
With Wolverhampton Wanderers suffering a second successive relegation, there are some players in their squad whom Championship clubs will be looking to raid. And Kevin Foley is one of them.
The Republic of Ireland defender has been a vital part of the Wolves' squad since joining in 2007. And despite his team being a shamble this season, he is one of the few players who shone for the Midlands club.
At 28, he is a tough tackling right-back who can also play in midfield. And if it is a balanced head on some older shoulders Redknapp is looking for, he may well look in the very direction of Mr Foley.
Central Midfielder... Actually, Make That Two
QPR's most glaring issues are in the center of midfield: the inability to move the ball from defense to attack successfully and consistently' the lack of grit and determination in the tackle; and the pure laziness of some players all need to be addressed.
The questions are endless: The Mirror claims Ji-Sung Park might be dropped, Stephane Mbia has gotten in trouble for his tweeting, Alejandro Faurlin was sent out on loan, and Samba Diakite has disappeared...and don't forget Joey Barton, of course. The only player that seems set to stay for sure is Jermaine Jenas.
But who could partner him in the middle of the park? Or who indeed could be the two players who could take that crucial midfield role should Jenas jump ship as well?
Liam Bridcutt has worked his way onto the transfer list of many managers, a list that includes Harry Redknapp according to the Daily Mirror. And with Brighton having had such a good season, he may be looking for a step up to the Premier League, rather than a step sideways to West London. However if 'Arry works his magic, this central midfielder could be a key signing for the Rs.
Stoke City would be hard pushed to let such an important member of their squad leave, having played 40 matches for the side this season. But if the price is right, he could be a very good signing for QPR.
The signing of Scott Parker is a debatable one. On one hand, he is a leader on the pitch, a solid performer, and the Daily Mirror reports Harry Redknapp has already made noises about his signature.
However, he is also embodies QPR's poor transfer policy of the past season: aging, injury prone and potentially past his prime. Scotty Parker could well be Rangers' Kevin Nolan of West Ham United. But he also could be Ranger's Esteban Granero of, well, Queens Park Rangers: hype, pomp, but no follow through.
Even with The Sun's reported £15 million price tag, Adel Taarabt could well be leaving this summer. Even if he doesn't, the Moroccan is not a naturally left-side player. With no other player really settling in to the left winger role, this is a key area Redknapp needs to address.
In an ideal world, Redknapp would re-sign Andros Townsend on loan. He has been a star of the second half of a very poor season for QPR.
However, as Rangers fans well know, this is not an ideal world. So who could Harry sign to strengthen that left side of midfield?
James McClean was one of the most sought-after young talents a few years back, but his potential has petered out a little, which is good news for Queens Park Rangers. After the Daily Mail's report of him defying his club's request to quit Twitter, he is risking the wrath of the timid and softly spoken new manager, Paolo Di Canio. And that is not a good place to be.
McClean would be superb in the Championship with his physical style. As mentioned in the previous slide, this bulk is something Rangers should be looking for.
But despite Hull not recognising his potential, Brady is a very exciting prospect. And this burst of youth on the wing could be very Townsend-esque at Loftus Road.
With Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson most likely injured and Loic Remy most likely leaving, that leaves Jay Bothroyd, DJ Campbell and Rob Hulse. The former has done okay in his cameos for QPR this year. The middle was lightening in the Championship on loan this year. And Rob Hulse is, well, Rob Hulse.
This means that a good Championship goalscorer needs to be purchased. And that someone has to be younger than Kevin Phillips.
Another relegated player to League One, Dwight Gayle of Peterborough has already been targeted by QPR, and Redknapp was at Selhurst Park on the final day of the Championship to watch him according to the Daily Mail.
Scoring 13 goals in 28 games for a relegated team shows good form, even when the players around you are struggling. And the 22-year-old deserves to be playing at a higher level. Fingers crossed for Rangers fans that this means Loftus Road, and not at any other circling Premier League teams.
Austin would be a perfect signing to lead the line at QPR. Scoring 28 goals in all competitions this season should be enough to convince Tony Fernandes to pull out the checkbook. And possibly the FIFA controller too, just to ensure the striker joins the club.