Ilias Chair’s Potential Absence Presents a Silver Lining for QPR and Marti Cifuentes…

In the midst of their struggle against relegation, Queens Park Rangers (QPR) faces a potential challenge with the imminent absence of key attacker Ilias Chair, who is committed to participating in the Africa Cup of Nations. However, this seemingly adverse situation may carry a positive outcome for the club as they strive to maintain their Championship status.

Under the guidance of manager Marti Cifuentes, QPR has demonstrated resilience, clinching two victories and securing two draws in the five league games since October. This performance equals the points accumulated in the preceding 14 matches under Gareth Ainsworth. While still positioned in the relegation zone, QPR’s improved display provides a ray of hope for their future prospects.

Ilias Chair, a pivotal asset for QPR, has consistently contributed double-digit goal involvements in each of his four full Championship campaigns with the club. His recent impact, exemplified by setting up two crucial goals in a 2-0 triumph against Preston North End, underscores his vital role.

However, Chair’s anticipated participation in the upcoming Africa Cup of Nations with Morocco could lead to a notable absence from Loftus Road. The tournament, scheduled from January 13th to February 11th, might see Chair missing up to six league games for QPR, contingent on Morocco’s progress.

While this absence presents an immediate challenge for QPR, it could inadvertently serve the club’s long-term interests. During the summer transfer window, Chair garnered interest from clubs such as Leicester City and Leeds United. With the potential call-up for the Africa Cup of Nations, any interested club would be required to wait before benefiting from Chair’s contributions.

This delay in Chair’s availability might dissuade clubs from pursuing a transfer in January, considering the risks associated with an extended absence due to injury or deep involvement in the tournament. Furthermore, the logistical complexities of negotiating a deal during the tournament could further hinder immediate transfers.

Consequently, clubs might opt to postpone their pursuit until the summer when Chair would be entering the final year of his contract at Loftus Road. This strategic delay could ensure QPR retains Chair’s services for the remainder of the season, providing a significant boost to their relegation battle, particularly if he returns from a successful Africa Cup of Nations campaign.

The temporary setback of losing Ilias Chair to international duty may work in QPR’s favor, potentially securing their key player for the crucial period ahead and enhancing their chances of remaining in the Championship for the next season.

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