With the transfer window shut Alex Bullamore takes a look at how it went for QPR.
Finally, some relief, last night the transfer window did as it traditionally does and slammed shut. Fear not there won’t be any more signings for Forest, nor will there be another Athletic long read about where petulant man child Ronaldo can move to that isn’t Saudi Arabia, no until January at least we are safe from it all. Naturally then its time to look back on QPR’s transfer window and assess how successful we have been. So get off twitter, stop pestering and/or arguing with local journalists and (try to) enjoy what you’re about to read.
First things first, the major story from this window that was going under the radar last night is that we’ve retained all of our key players. Now this would suggest that we’re in a good position to progress up the league and put in a better fight for at least making the play-offs. It also relates quite heavily to how we do our business in the transfer market. The only player that came into the club or left the club for a transfer fee was Jordy de Wijs, and that was for a very low fee.
If we were to sell one of our best in Willock, Chair, Dickie or even Sam Field then we might have been able to throw a bit of money around as we did post Eze. This is the way that we’ve set ourselves up recently to move our better players on and reinvesting that money from the sales to improve the team as a whole, until you get a team that is in total well rounded enough to achieve promotion or some sort of success.
There are obviously several factors which have kept these players with us, Willocks injury, our poor form at the back end of last season and the general inflation on the price of the average Championship player spring to mind. It’s hard to say at this point if this will be a good outcome or not at this point, come the end of the season if we’re in the mix for promotion then yes it will all be ok and naturally players will leave but there will be a clear direction we are moving in. If however we see history repeat itself and we fall away, then there will probably be a focus on securing some sort of transfer fee for our better players. Either way unless we are promoted at some point we’ll see players move on, it just has to be that way.
This lack of funds coming in from player sales has also resulted in us having to look nearly exclusively at loans at the end of this window, something that had you listened to our podcast ‘R’ Generation on Air you would know we’re very weary of. We know at this point that at least two of the loans brought in (Richards and Roberts) have clauses in the deal where we can buy the players for certain prices, but for the others they will return to their parent club and bar something remarkable they won’t play for QPR again.
This doesn’t really amount to much squad building; I understand that we’re on a budget but come next season we’ll be repeating the same talking points whilst the same holes in the side are being recruited for. Having said that from the limited stuff I’ve seen the loans are all of good quality and will for this season at least bring some quality into the side. There appears to be no Jan Mlakar or Matt Smith the younger in this set of loan players, which does bode well. Despite that I really hoped that we would be moving away from doing majority of our business via loan deals.
With all of this considered I feel like we find ourselves with a bit of a free hit this season. Had we been successful last year we could’ve found ourselves in the Premier League this season and then it would’ve been reasonable to retain all our talent. Had we failed to get promoted but we ended strongly and, in the play-offs, then there could’ve been a struggle to keep hold of our better players, but that of course would’ve resulted in the squad being improved overall with a better quality of permanent players. Instead, we find ourselves caught between the two and in this happy medium where we’re not quite sure what to expect yet.
As I’ve already did I feel we’re still a bit light in certain areas, left back and striker are the two positions in particular that feel weaker than most. It would’ve been great to have recruited another striker as the club were attempting to do, but you have to ask how good would they actually be? Considering that they would have still been available at the last minute, within our tiny budget, on the eleventh hour of the the transfer window. At that point surely it’s best saving the money for something more worthwhile, like a new cash register for the South Africa Road stand food vendors.
Overall I’m happy with what we’ve done, it’s time to refocus on what we’ve got rather than what we could’ve had.