Five things QPR need to do next season to get back into the Premier League
Following news that Chris Ramsey got the QPR job on a permanent basis, he faces some tough decisions in the summer about what strategy to take to get his side back into the Premier League.
As a result, Coral have a look at five things that the club need to do in order to secure an immediate return back to England’s top flight, with the club 9/1 with Coral to win outright and 3/1 to achieve promotion.
Get rid of the big earners
Ramesy will need players at the club who want to be there and will give 100 per cent. The likes of Adel Taarabt and Richard Dunne are simply making up the numbers while collecting huge weekly wages. This is something that they simply cannot afford to have next term.
Junior Hoilett, Sandro, Armand Traore and Alejandro Faurlin should also be made surplus to requirements, and they could potentially at least recoup £5m from their sales to reinvest in the team. Rob Green may go to Chelsea, to act as a reserve, which will unload around £60k-per-week in wages, with the Hoops also hopeful of a £2m fee.
Retain Joey Barton
Although temperamental, the midfielder is the perfect player to build a team around for next season and, for all of his faults, he showed with Newcastle that he will roll up his sleeves and fight for his club at a lower level.
Playing him in a midfield base, along with Karl Henry, who also has experience in getting teams promoted from the Championship, Barton can be instrumental for the Hoops at this level; an intimidating presence, who can also spray the ball around.
Follow the Bournemouth model
The Cherries went from League Two to the Premier League in six years and, despite having Russian investment, they spent wisely, avoiding big names and high wages, to instead recruit young, hungry talent from lower leagues.
This is exactly what QPR should do, and they have an opportunity build a superb squad with a modest budget at this level.
However, time and effort needs to be spent identifying talent, and whether this is a combined effort between Ramsey and director of football Les Ferdinand, or whether they bring in an accomplished scout, remains to be seen.
They do have a few quality players who can excel in the second tier, in Matt Phillips, though looking further down the football pyramid, there are some bargains to be had.
Cash in on Charlie Austin
Burnley’s former striker has done remarkably well to dispatch 17 goals in the Premier League this season for a team that has been relegated, and Austin proved he should be playing at a higher level. There is no doubt that the 25-year-old will move, and he will know that going to a better club can see him establish his England credentials.
If QPR can get £10m for him, which on balance, he is definitely worth, this would go some way to balancing Financial Fair Play and also rebuilding the whole team. Austin will also likely leave with the Hoop’s best regards after his contribution this term.
Develop youth players
Investing in their own youth set-up, just as Southampton did, will in the long term, at least pay dividends and go a long way to helping the club become self-sustainable.
For the price of three players, or around £5m they can build a stat-of-the-art development centre, complete with specialist coaching staff and accomplished youth scouts. Giving players a chance from the academy squad next term as well, will provide a good platform for them to test themselves.