New QPR manager Mark Hughes has been a busy boy this January, bringing five new faces to Loftus Road since his appointment earlier this month.
Here is a run-down of his dealings:
Taye Taiwo (Loan – AC Milan)
The Italian giants signed the highly rated Nigerian left-back from Marseille in May of last year. During his time at the San Siro, he proved absolutely nothing. Taiwo looked clumsy, out of his depth and his attempts at crossing a ball were simply laughable.
Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri acknowledged this, handing Taiwo only four league starts before sending him off to London. Whilst the pressure clearly got to him at Milan, I feel Taiwo will be a success for QPR.
An attacking full-back who can defend if he puts his mind to it, Taiwo was at the top of his game at Marseille, which saw him amass over 250 appearances. He will be hoping to regain this sort of form following his nightmare in Italy.
Bobby Zamora (£6 million – Fulham)
Mark Hughes is reunited with Bobby Zamora after signing him for an initial fee of £6 million, potentially rising up to £7 million according to The Guardian.
Some may say this fee is a little steep for a 31 year old, however £6 million for a player at the peak of his powers, and very much in the running to be in England’s Euro 2012 squad represents a bargain in my eyes.
Zamora has already scored five and provided five assists for Fulham in fourteen starts this term. So, why did he leave?
A fractured relationship with Fulham manager Martin Jol is likely to have contributed to Zamora’s departure from Craven Cottage. Fulham’s loss may prove to be QPR’s game here, and I’m backing Zamora to shine under Hughes.
Djibril Cissé (£4 million – Lazio)
Djibril Cissé enjoyed a fantastic start to his Lazio career this year, looking to form a formidable partnersihp with Miroslav Klose. After scoring four goals early in the season for his new club, Cissé’s form dropped dramatically and he has since offered little for The Biancocelesti.
Cissé is now back for his third stint in England, following previous spells at Liverpool and most recently Sunderland. Whilst Cissé was never prolific at either club, the Frenchman does offer a potent attacking threat when on the pitch.
At 30 years of age, and following a string of horrendous injuries, Cissé’s powers are on the wane. That being said, he can still turn a match on round in an instant given half a chance.
Hughes will be looking for Cissé to form an instant bond with strike partner Zamora, such a partnership could be key in QPR’s bid for survival.
Nedum Onuoha (£2.5 million – Manchester City)
Perhaps the most underrated defender in England, Hughes picking up Onuoha for just £2.5 million is a masterstroke.
Hughes will know all about the centre back from his time at Manchester City and had no qualms in bringing him to his new club.
Onuoha has never been a first-team regular at City, but proved he’s up to the task during a successful season on loan at Sunderland last year. This included scoring an absolutely brilliant goal Lionel Messi would be proud of, as Sunderland beat Chelsea 3-0 at Stamford Bridge.
Samba Diakité (Loan – Nancy)
Diakité joins QPR from Nancy on a season-long loan, with a view to a permanent deal. Hughes beat off competition from a host of clubs including Lyon, according to Sky Sports.
The 23 year old is currently competing at the African Cup of Nations for his country Mali. Diakité plays as a defensive midfielder and will be vying for a starting place alongside Joey Barton for his new club.
In the Sky Sports report, Hughes described his new signing: “He is a good age, has got strength, power, can carry the ball and can score goals from midfield on occasions.”
Diakité will hope to follow in Cheick Tioté’s footsteps as the latest African player from France to make an impact in the Premier League.
Federico Macheda (Loan – Manchester United)
Macheda was brought in by Warnock at the beginning of January and will be looking to gain some valuable first-team experience.
After an unsuccessful spell in Italy, which saw him relegated with Sampdoria, scoring only once in sixteen appearances, Macheda will be keen to get back in Sir Alex’s good books.
It is likely Macheda will spend a lot of time on the bench, with Cissé, Zamora and Heidar Helguson all above him in the pecking order.
Hughes has been very shrewd, spending less than £15 million on signing five proven, quality players. These signings, along with the players already at his disposal, should comfortably avoid relegation.
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