With the transfer window now firmly shut until January, the most actively was to be seen at Loftus Road. Tony Fernandes has high hopes for the club in the next few years and is not afraid to support his manager when it comes to strengthening the squad.
QPR brought in no less than twelve new additions this summer in order to build on last season’s disappointing finish. I firmly believe that once the squad starts to gel, they will enjoy a much more successful season than last year. Let’s take a look at their latest recruits.
- Robert Green (ENG)
After being released by West Ham, Mark Hughes swiftly moved for the England international. With vast Premier League experience, Green will prove to be a solid investment. He is an excellent shot-stopper and is commanding with high balls in the air.
- Julio Cesar (BRA)
A fantastic signing, Cesar had firmly established himself as the number one at Inter pretty much as soon as he arrived at the club. Also Brazil’s number one, Cesar is seen as one of the world’s best and at the age of 32, he still has a good few years ahead of him.
- Ryan Nelson (NZL)
The New Zealand international established himself as fan’s favourite at Ewood Park before moving to White Hart Lane. Possessing excellent strength and positioning, Nelson will provide to be a quality recruit, even though he isn’t getting any younger.
- Fabio (BRA)
The young Brazilian joined United with his twin brother bin 2007, but unlike his brother he hasn’t managed to secure a first-team place at Old Trafford. With Patrice Evra operating on the left and Rafael on the right, it was always going to be difficult to get games. At QPR he will be able to continue his development, whilst gaining some first-team experience.
- Jose Bosingwa (POR)
Another fantastic edition. Bosingwa found himself out of favour at Chelsea, with Ivanovic preferred at right-back. Possessing pace and attacking nous, Bosingwa also knows when to defend. He has won pretty much everything there is during his stints at Porto and Chelsea.
Samba Diakite (MLI)
Diakite joined in January 2012 on loan with an option to make the move permanent in the summer. The defensive midfielder enjoyed mixed fortunes during his loan stint, getting sent off on his debut. However, he also scored his first goal for the club during their 2-1 victory over Arsenal. Mark Hughes made the move permanent due to Diakite’s attitude and versatility.
- Stephane Mbia (CAM)
Joining from Marseille, where he won the championship in 2009, Mbia arrives with a lot of promise. He can operate at either centre-back or defensive midfielder, adding to the list of versatile players at QPR. The Cameroon international is likely be played at centre-back and will prove to be assertive and robust.
- Ji-Sung Park (KOR)
The biggest coup for QPR in my opinion. The versatile midfielder brings bags of experience, having enjoyed a succesful stay at Old Trafford. However, games were hard to come by and Park made the move to Loftus Road. He can operate anywhere in the midfield and has an excellent work-ethic, coupled with tenacity. Now also the club captain, Park will prove to be an excellent addition.
- Esteban Granero (SPA)
Along with Park, Granero could be one of the signings of the window. The midfielder brings class to the club and will no doubt be a hit with the fans. The fact that he played 17 times for Real Madrid last season shows his quality. However, with a midfielders such as Alonso, Ozil, Khedira, Modric, to name just a few, Granero knew that playing time would be minimal.
- Junior Hoilett (CAN)
The Canadian winger was the only bright-spark in a shocking season for Blackburn Rovers last season. Following their relegation, he has been given the chance to show his talents in the top division by QPR. Hoilett will provide an excellent attacking option, running at defences from the wings. He will chip in with his fair share of goals and assists.
- Andrew Johnson (ENG)
Having joined on a free transfer, QPR have got themselves a striker who has always been able to find the net. Johnson has also represented England eight times and once again brings vast experience to the club. He has excellent movement and knows where the net is. QPR fans will be hoping he can rediscover his form.
With all these new faces at the club, QPR are certainly stating their intentions for the forthcoming season and the board will be demanding a much better league finish than last season. However, the best piece of business for the club was the departure of Joey Barton. Barton has been a disruptive influence wherever he has gone and the final straw was his disgraceful conduct against Man City at the end of least season (mirror.co.uk). Hughes will be more than happy that whilst Barton has made the move to Marseille, Mbia has made the move in the opposite direction.
QPR have no doubt strengthened well and if they can gel quickly, then they certainly will be difficult to beat. They will need to maintain an excellent home record throughout the season and if they can, I think they can improve vastly on last year’s performance.