Queens Park Rangers goalkeeper Joe Lumley is set to leave the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium this summer.
That’s according to a statement posted on the official Middlesborough website, where the North East club have confirmed that the 26-year-old shot-stopper would be joining up with Neil Warnock’s side upon the expiry of his QPR contract next month.
In reaction to the announcement, Warnock said: “I’m delighted to have signed Joe. I’ve always rated him highly and I look forward to him joining us. I know he’s excited about coming here and he can’t wait to play in front of the Riverside crowd.”
While Lumley has by no means been a regular in Mark Warburton’s first team at QPR this season, there are a number of arguments the can be made as to why allowing the ‘keeper to leave west London is something of a disaster for the Rs.
When he has been called upon this season, the £7.1k-per-week man has highly impressed, as, over his five Championship appearances for the Hoops this year, the 26-year-old helped his side to keep three clean sheets, as well as winning 100% of both his ground and aerial duels, in addition to earning an average SofaScore match rating of 7.04 – ranking him as QPR’s joint fourth-best performer in the second tier.
As such, while it is clear that Seny Dieng is now Warburton’s first-choice shot-stopper, Lumley – who the 58-year-old manager himself dubbed as “outstanding” as well as an “example” to others in training – is an excellent backup to the Senegal international, as well as providing the 26-year-old with top drawer competition for his spot between the sticks.
On a related note, unless Warburton is planning on bringing in a new goalkeeper this summer, it appears as if Liam Kelly will be the number two at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium as of next season – a player who has not made a league appearance for the Rs since the back end of the club’s 2019/20 campaign.
Furthermore, considering Lumley is just 26 years of age, he is still rather young in relation to a goalkeeper’s footballing career, meaning that he very much has time to improve as a shot-stopper, something that QPR will now no longer see the benefit of.
Finally, with Lumley joining one of QPR’s Championship rivals in Middlesborough, there is an obvious feeling amongst other teams that the ‘keeper can do a job in the league, while the possibility of the 26-year-old coming back to haunt the Rs in a second-tier fixture is now a very real one.
As such, it appears as if Amit Bhatia letting Lumley leave QPR this summer is indeed a mistake and is a decision that the Rs could very much come to regret come next season.