As another jam-packed transfer window slams shut, corrospondent Alex Bullamore, takes an in-depth look at each of QPR’s new summer additions.
Let’s go back to the start shall we. Thomas became the first transfer of the summer signing in July on a free after leaving Leicester. So far just the one start for Thomas with two appearances overall, he played well in pre season and again against Forrest. Clearly one of our many signings with one eye on resale. At the time of his transfer he was written off by select idiots on Twitter, clearly they know everything about this player who had never played in the championship. They must have seen loads of him when he was on loan at ADO Den Haag, or they simply talk rubbish. Thomas is someone who at 23 would have wanted his career to be going a different direction, he would have been hoping to be going the way Harvey Barnes is going but instead finds himself in the championship. Still with plenty of time however to have a successful career, we’re getting a reputation as a club who likes to improve players and sell them on for bigger fees. He’s got plenty of pace and can play in a number of positions, I think now he’s probably not the first choice of any of those positions but with the number of games coming up he’ll be getting plenty of game time. A good signing to fill out the squad with some promise for the future.
Amos signed permanently back in August for a small fee from Tottenham, a player we have seen a lot of the season before during his lone spell. Clearly Warburton likes Amos and Amos likes Warburton, Amos publicity stated that working with Warburton was a key factor in coming back. So far over his whole time at the club the fans haven’t warmed to him entirely, there’s plenty of desire for him to succeed but a few questions were asked when he was signed. Last season he looked unremarkable scoring only two goals (Barnsley away) and no assists, considering last season was his first back after a bad injury you can allow for some average performances. This year however he needs to improve and repay the faith the manager is showing him. So far this hasn’t really happened, he’s featured quite a lot but still looks to weak at times and has missed some great chances going forward. A move back to the position he played last season is being suggested by a number of fans and perhaps he would find more success there, as he certainly isn’t suited to the number 10 role. Overall improvement is needed but if he comes good another player who fits the bill for selling on.
Oh my god we signed a striker! A striker that’s actually ours! Queue the memes, HMS Piss the League and all that. Believe it or not the club actually knew we needed a striker and didn’t need a bunch of fans to repeatedly remind them of the fact. Not only that but they’ve uncovered what could be a bit of a gem. I certainly wasn’t aware of Dykes when he was bullying defenders up north at Livingston and I doubt many other were either. Admittedly I’ve seen him play more times for Scotland than QPR, but what I’ve seen I’ve liked. He’s powerful, a bit of a shithouse and a decent footballer too with a knack for in the box finishing. When I have seen him playing for the R’s he’s had a lack of service, I’m sure this will change and the goals will come, he’s a good finisher as proved by his recent performances in a Scotland shirt. I’m impressed so far, hopefully goals from open play come soon before our faithful start to stick the boot in.
At the end of last season QPR were left with a Grant Hall shaped hole in their back four, the solution to this problem looks to be Rob Dickie who signed from Oxford United back in September. Another centre back who can play out from the back and that suits our style of play perfectly, Dickie has done the hard yards in the lower leagues and last season was voted Oxford’s player of the year. After a slow start he’s now starting to show QPR fans why he was highly regarded in Oxford. Certainly an important signing in the area where we’re probably the weakest, Barbet is not quite the traditional centre back and that’s been shown at times. Dickie on the other hand should bring the best of both worlds, confident and capable on the ball with more of a physical presence. It’ll be a big step up coming from league 1 but he’s showing signs of improvement and is getting used to playing championship football. He’ll have a long season ahead of him with very little cover in that position so he’ll definitely be a regular in the side alongside Barbet. A bit of a slow start with plenty of room for improvement, but I think he’ll add a bit more stability to a leaky back four.
Yet another player who has previously played for the club came in on a free after being released by Swansea. Now the major problem I had with this deal was that Carroll had been released by a club who like to play in a similar way to us. If he wasn’t good enough to fit into their system then why exactly should he be good enough for us. Also when he played here under Redknapp I always though he was too much of a sideways passer a bit of a carb he never drove forward with the ball or looked to move it forward. However I’ve been relatively happy with what he’s done so far and I feel that he’s been hard done by with Amos being preferred ahead of him. With the upcoming fixture bonanza that is October, November and December another midfield option is not a bad thing to have, allowing for other players to have a rest. Carroll signed on a one year deal and I think this is a sensible signing.
Another striker! Another not on loan! Scoring on his debut in a drab game against Sheffield Wednesday has already enamoured Bonne to the QPR fans. Some Charlton fans were a little salty when he signed claiming that he ran about with very little end product, maybe they’re just annoyed they’re having to watch Conor Washington. If you think you’ve seen running about with no end product you’ve not seen anything yet! Last year was Bonne’s first in the football league after numerous non league spells, 11 goals from 36 game certainly isn’t shabby. He’s made a good start with a cracking header to equalise late on against Wednesday, only way is up from here. I’m looking forward to see what he can bring to the team, he’s probably quicker than Dykes and gives us a different option up top. Like the majority of our signings he’ll be nurtured and hopefully sold on for a profit. Strikers that can perform in the championship tend to go for inflated prices so this looks to be a good buy.
And the award for best Public Relation Campaign goes to…
If you’re not aware of how Adomah got his transfer to QPR then let me enlighten you. Uncs over Twitter and Instagram started to post videos of himself in various football shirts performing a selection of impressive skills, most of the time he was wearing the blue and white of the club he supports and has supported for a number of years. Then other QPR fans got wise to these videos and gradually more and more people started begging the club to sign Adomah from Forrest. Eventually Forrest and Adomah reach an agreement to release him from his contract and he signed for the R’s on a two year deal. PR genius! To say this signing is long over due is a bit of an understatement, having played very close to the ground as a kid it seems silly that he never signed previously. Instead we’ve had to watch him come to the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium and be part of teams who’ve played us off the pitch. There are some worries that Adomah may be past it, but I think that this is a good move. He’s clearly very excited, just look at his interview with the club and I think he can fulfil the Marc Pugh role with more success. He’s played a lot at this level and has been promoted with numerous teams. I’m happy we’ve got him home, hopefully he can put his experience to good use. I just have to ask, do the fans get any part of the agent fee?
Another winger signed on the first deadline day from Benfica B for what is reported to be a very small price, West London Sport reported the fee to be £750,000. Another rough diamond to nurture, improve and sell on, Willock was a player who caught the eye of Arsène Wenger when he was a youth player at Arsenal. I haven’t seen anything of Willock as the Portuguese second division isn’t really on my radar. What I can assume then is that he’s significantly better than the wingers that we already at the club. At 22 he’s a similar age to Smyth and Shodipo, so if he’s going to feature in the first team he has to be an improvement on what they offer. This is very much a Warburton signing, a player who’s come through an academy a but hasn’t really gone anywhere. I do worry if he has enough of a physical presence for championship football, make not mistake this is now real football he playing in, his stats from his time at Benfica B were rather underwhelming. However he comes to QPR off the back of a decent loan spell with Huddersfield, where he scored crucial goals to keep them up. Basically I don’t want him to be another Matt Smith (the Man City one) or Jan Mlakar.
Our last signing of the window comes in the form of another striker who will be playing in the under-23s for the time being. Kelman comes from Southend with a good reputation, last season he managed five in a team that are quite poor. The stand out goal being a superb long range effort from his own half in his debut, more of that please. Again this is another signing for the future, he probably won’t feature much and may be loaned out come January if the club feels like it will help his development. His transfer probably means that Oteh’s time at the club will end at the end of his contract unless he has a fantastic season on loan at Stevenage. Like majority of our signings full of promise and smart business from the club.
Overall I think we’ve been successful this window. We’ve strengthened in a number of positions and reinvested some of the Eze money in players who can develop and hopefully bring some profit down the line. The money spent this window will also have come from saving up over previous seasons where we spent less and less. I’m so glad that we as a club are in a better position and that we can invest a bit of money where we see fit. I would have liked one more defensive player a LB ideally or another CB but I am actually very happy with the business we’ve done. Now all focus moves onto Bright and his new contract, which may be the most important signing yet!