During the summer, both Tomer Hemed and Sam Baldock left Brighton for Queens Park Rangers and Reading after a lack of playing time at the Amex.
Neither player, however, will be pleased with how their new adventure is going so far with QPR and Reading sitting in 19th and 20th place in the Championship table.
Hemed and Baldock, though, will feel they have the ability to fire their sides up the table and will have the chance to possibly do so tonight when QPR travel to Reading.
But which striker is likely to have the better overall season?
In Hemed, QPR have acquired a very experienced striker and capable goalscorer. The 31-year-old has had solid stints in La Liga with RCD Mallorca and Almeria, while in his first season in the Championship with Brighton he was able to score 17 goals in 40 games.
Hemed, however, was unable to transfer that sort of form into the Premier League but, at this level, he remains a match-winner — something he showed in QPR’s 1-0 win over Wigan last month after netting the game’s only goal.
And while Hemed has yet to add to that, QPR manager Steve McClaren has made it clear it was imperative that the centre-forward and Nahki Wells were brought in on loan.
Speaking after QPR’s win versus Wigan where Hemed and Wells made their debuts, McClaren told Sky Sports: “It made a huge difference [having Hemed and Wells in the team].
“We had no money to buy and have been praying for the [transfer] window to end and the loan market to open, because that’s all we can take. This week has been tough, but once they came in on Thursday you could see the belief in the players grow that we are moving forward and making signings.”
QPR have had a shocking start to the season with their 7-1 defeat to West Brom an indication of the kind of trouble they are in.
They have, however, managed to pick up a few decent results since then and with Hemed now at Loftus Road, the club may just have enough firepower to retain their status as a Championship side.
TT Grade: B-
Like Hemed, the Premier League was a level Baldock could not adapt to while during his spells in the Championship with Brighton, Bristol City and West Ham, he has not been the most prolific of strikers.
Rather, Baldock’s best form has come when Bristol City were playing their football in League 1 and at MK Dons.
Nevertheless, Baldock still looks to be a decent acquisition for Reading and a striker of the mould manager Paul Clement was in desperate need of.
Upon his arrival at the Madejski Stadium, Clement told Reading’s official club website: “I’m very happy that Sam has joined us here at Reading, having pursued his signature throughout the summer.
“I always felt he was the right striker for us to bring to this club in terms of his age, his experience and his quality.”
TT Grade: C+
While Baldock has probably made a better start or has made more of an impact thus far, everything points towards Hemed eventually proving to be the more astute addition out of the two.
The QPR striker has a very respectable goal-scoring record in La Liga and looked sharp during his time in the Championship.
At 31 and given the strength of QPR compared to Hemed’s former clubs, the ex-Maccabi Haifa player may not be able to reach the same heights as before.
But his experience and pedigree may just end up being more influential on QPR’s season than Baldock’s on Reading’s.Like what the TT have on offer? Sign up for more notifications!
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