Queens Park Rangers (QPR) are currently facing a challenging season, marked by managerial changes and a struggle for survival in the Championship. After a disappointing start under Gareth Ainsworth, who was dismissed in October following a string of poor results, the club brought in Marti Cifuentes from Hammarby to take charge. While Cifuentes initially enjoyed some success, winning six out of his first seven games, the team’s performance has since faltered, with just one victory in the subsequent eight matches, leaving them in the precarious 22nd position in the league standings.
As QPR finds itself entrenched in a relegation battle, it becomes crucial for the club to retain key players during the final week of the January transfer window. Two players of particular significance are Chris Willock and Ilias Chair, both integral to QPR’s recent successes and vital components of the team’s attacking prowess.
Chair, with over 200 appearances since his debut in 2017, and Willock, who joined from Benfica in 2020, have consistently contributed to QPR’s performance. The 2021/2022 season saw Willock’s standout performance with 18 goal contributions in 35 league games, while Chair notched up 14 goal contributions in 39 league games. Although their statistics this season may not be as impressive due to the team’s overall league position, Chair and Willock remain significant contributors, being joint second top scorers for QPR, with Chair leading in assists and Willock in joint second.
Playing versatile roles behind the striker, both players are known for their pace and quick feet, causing problems for championship defenses. With Chair’s contract extending until the end of next season and Willock’s set to expire at the end of the current campaign, there’s a potential threat of losing Willock to a transfer offer. Despite financial pressures, it’s crucial for QPR to prioritize championship retention over short-term gains from player sales.
While there’s a possibility of selling Willock to recoup funds, the long-term financial benefit for QPR lies in securing their place in the championship. Even if offers come in for Willock and Chair, the club would likely face challenges in securing impactful replacements within the limited time frame of the transfer window. Losing these key players could be detrimental to QPR’s chances of avoiding relegation, especially considering the recent addition of Michael Frey to the attack.
In conclusion, QPR must resist the temptation to let go of Willock and Chair during this transfer window, focusing on securing their championship status over potential financial gains. With the threat of relegation looming, the importance of these two players to the team’s attacking dynamics cannot be overstated, and their departure could significantly undermine QPR’s chances of survival in the competitive championship.