Things are certainly looking on the up at QPR at present, with Mark Warburton having overseen a wonderful summer transfer window at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium, while the 58-year-old’s side remain unbeaten in the Championship following their first three fixtures of the season.
However, with Moses Odubajo being sent off after receiving two yellow cards in Wednesday’s 3-2 win over Middlesbrough, and Lee Wallace being withdrawn late on in the same game due to injury, Warburton could be facing a selection headache at full-back for the visit of Barnsley this lunchtime.
While summer signing Sam McCallum is yet to make his debut for the club after being sidelined due to illness, from which the 20-year-old has now reportedly recovered, the Barnsley match would appear to be the perfect time for the QPR boss to unleash the left-back.
When considering his form for Coventry City last season, the £3.15m-rated defender would not simply just be filling in for either Odubajo or Wallace, but it could easily be argued that the Norwich City loanee would actually be an upgrade on either player.
Indeed, over his 41 Championship appearances for Mark Robins’ side last term, the £5k-per-week left-back made an average of 1.9 interceptions, 2.1 tackles, 1.6 clearances and won 7.2 duels per game. McCallum also impressed going forwards, scoring one goal, registering two assists and creating three big chances for his Sky Blues teammates, as well as averaging 0.7 key passes per match.
These metrics saw the man who Warburton dubbed a “quality” player earn an average SofaScore match rating of 6.92, ranking him as Coventry’s second-best performer in the second tier of English football.
Odubajo has averaged a hugely disappointing SofaScore match rating of 6.10 over his three Championship appearances so far this season, while Wallace – aside from a decent display against Hull City – has also been average for QPR this term. Therefore, the introduction of McCallum could well make a big impact for the Rs – something the 58-year-old manager himself predicted upon the 20-year-old’s signing.