As January comes closer with each week, marked by the door slamming shut on the emergency loan window for the Football League, it is only natural for every Tom, Dick and Harry to get linked with every United, Rovers and Athletic. It has been no different this year. Even though he is 30 next year, World Cup winner Kaka is being linked with Chelsea for a bizarre £30m. Manchester City are slowly being linked with every player that gets the better of them; and as predicted by The Guardian’s football blog, The Fiver, Mancini is allegedly lining up Edinson Cavani as he oversaw Napoli get the better of City. More prolonged transfer gossip include; Willie McKay’s Doncaster dynasty continuing to plunder small fortunes into African has beens in the hope that they can lift them off the Championship floor, Beckham deciding where he will cash in his final paycheck and who Arsenal won’t buy because they never spend much but we will link them with a £20m move anyway.
However, a smaller, if not for much longer, team have slowly progressed up the Premier League to where they sit now at 9th. Having joked that he would take, “7 points from 9; easy,” against Chelsea, Tottenham and Man City, his team took three and pushed Man City all the way. Q.P.R have come some way from their opening day drubbing at the hands of Bolton. The unquestionable financial platform provided by the new owner Tony Fernandes, helped Q.P.R kick start their season. The Malaysian tycoon put his money where Warnock ’s mouth was and five signings were made immediately, at the end of the summer transfer window. His impressive performance at the helm of the Loftus Road club, including a win over Chelsea, looks set to earn Warnock his second transfer kitty for January.
“We are on the lookout for four or five,” proclaimed Sheffield born Warnock, “”I’m not saying they’re all going to be big-name signings but we need numbers in the squad.” For me, as hopeful as I was of David Beckham returning to the Premier league, this draws a big red cross through the idea if Warnock’s comments, “I personally can’t see where Beckham is going to get in the team at the moment,” didn’t.
Warnock sent out a ringing endorsement for his current hit man too, when hinting at what Rangers fans can expect, “You could spend £10million on a striker and he will not play as well as Heidar ” stated the QPR boss. That paired with his exclamation that “big-name signings,” aren’t guaranteed, can provide fans with a small window of opportunity to second guess who they may sign.
So far, unlike most of the Premier League, rumours for players into Loftus Road have been fairly muted but not entirely non-existent. The Daily Mail audaciously claimed that QPR were putting together £10m bid for an “out-of-favour” Jermain Defoe , which is unlikely for two reasons; firstly Warnock indirectly claimed that a £10m striker couldn’t match his Heidar and secondly, Joe Jordan, Redknapp’s right hand man stated that Defoe can play his way into the England Euro squad, “”I wouldn’t say Darren Bent has got to go to the Euros because I think that between now and then you still have to prove that you are a good player. And Jermain Defoe can do that.”
As well as Defoe, fellow Spurs man Bassong has been linked with a London switch and as aforementioned, “Beckham”, “Warnock” and “QPR” has resulted in numerous Google results ever since the MLS began to draw to a close.
As is normally the case, however, the signings made in January will probably be players no one has mentioned; hints were given though, “If we sign a few players from Asia it will definitely help QPR develop as a brand,” said the manager when it emerged he had traveled to the continent in mention to watch South Korea do battle with U.A.E. It is likely that Warnock is on the trail of countrymen of the former rather than the latter and the omens are good for any potential signing.
The Premier League already has the Korean trio of Arsenal ’s Park , Manchester United ’s Park and Sunderland ’s Ji Dong-Wong and the United midfielder has enjoyed illustrious success under Ferguson with a reputation of determination, commitment and a regular in Fergie’s big game teams. His contemporaries have had less time to settle in to the Premier League, but both have shown promise: “Park is a quality player, we see that in training, and he is a very intelligent player, believe you will see more and more of Park,” said Wenger having seen his new recruit net on his 2nd appearance last month. As for Ji, Bruce has told fans that, ““Ji plays up front with the lad from Arsenal, but in his country Ji is the rising star – he’s the new Park Ji-sung .”
Warnock was supposedly watching three players in particular, but there is more than just footballing ability at play, “it will definitely help QPR develop as a brand,” explained Warnock, ”By owning a Premier League club Tony has shot up in profile over there. This is the start of something and I feel the club can develop a global presence because of the owners and the contacts they have.” However fans worried that money will be ill-spent on players purely to flagship an Asian QPR can be assured that players will be bough to strengthen, “By all means we want to improve the squad long-term, as well immediate.”
Dipping into the Asian market may well be a move taken up by many soon and Warnock’s quick move to start scouting firsthand now, may give him the first pick of the Korean class of the future. “Two aspects of the development of the game; one will come from the States, the second big part I’m convinced will be Asia,” said Arsene Wenger, who has managed in Japan. “In these two countries and continents they have an aptitude to have a team attitude and hard-working attitude and I think once they get the education they will produce good players.”
Who could QPR expect though; Koo Ja-Cheol, Nam Tae-Hee or Son Heung-Min?
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