Shaun Wright-Phillips out for the season – Will anyone notice?

Loftus Road

Following the announcement that Wright-Phillips will miss the rest of the season, will his absence make any difference to QPR's survival bid?

When Shaun Wright-Phillips moved from Manchester City to QPR in 2011 it seemed like the perfect signing for the London club.

They were getting a winger with pace to burn and a point to prove, after his return to City had gone sour the previous season following the arrival of David Silva and Yaya Toure.

But Wright-Phillips never took off at Loftus Road. And the news yesterday that he will miss the rest of the season with an ankle injury raises only one question. Will anyone notice his absence?

Before his injury, the 31-year-old made 20 appearances in the league this season. But only fourteen of those were starts, and in that time a player hailed as an attacking winger achieved one goal and one assist.

That doesn’t sound like a player keeping his end of the bargain.

So the former City and Chelsea man will now miss Rangers’ seemingly doomed attempt to avoid relegation.

But Harry Redknapp spoke hopefully yesterday, in the belief Wright-Phillips will be fit for the start of next season.

It is a season the winger would do well to embrace. And while some of Redknapp’s team will inevitably depart if they are playing Championship football next season, Wright-Phillips should stay. It may, after all, be his last chance to reignite a career that has only sporadically shone.

Between 2000 and 2003, Wright-Phillips won Manchester City’s Young Player of the Year award four times. He has been capped 42 times for his country. And prior to his move to Loftus Road, a number of clubs were showing an interest in him.

It seems unlikely that interest remains when a player with so much raw talent has been so ineffective during his time in London.

It makes little sense, in fact. Wright-Phillips was a winger who knew how to be a winger. That cannot be said of all of them.

Now 31, he still has some time, however brief, to be remembered for the right reasons. It would be a shame if he was remembered for anything less.

What does the future hold for Wright-Phillips?  Will he ever regain his previous good form?

images: © Team Lotus, © Tom Cuppens

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