Alejandro Faurlin’s season-ending knee injury was a horrifying moment for both he and QPR, but Harry Redknapp’s intention to turn to the loan market is a surprise and a disappointment.
Redknapp may feel he has some justification in seeking short-term answers to a growing injury list which now displays the names of some pivotal players including Faurlin, fellow midfielders Tom Carroll and Niko Kranjcar, as well as striker Bobby Zamora and defender Nedum Onuoha.
Redknapp has already dipped into the loan market this season, with mixed results.
His move for Uruguayan striker Javier Chevanton was strange given that QPR operate with only one striker, Charlie Austin, and have Andy Johnson close to full fitness.
Unsurprisingly, Chevanton has barely made an impression.
In contrast, Kranjcar, Carroll and Benoit Assou-Ekotto, all brought in on season-long deals on transfer deadline day, have proved successful, adding quality in crucial areas of the team.
He now seems set on returning to the answer of a short-term loan to plug a perceived gap in his midfield – but does the gap exist? Even minus Faurlin, who will miss the rest of the season with an anterior cruciate ligament injury, QPR are not short of options in the middle.
Joey Barton is fit and playing some of the best football of his career, while Karl Henry is a more than able deputy to Faurlin, particularly suited to the physicality of the Championship.
There is also Jermaine Jenas, who scored his first goal of the season in the 2-1 win over Derby County on Saturday, while Carroll, on loan from Tottenham, picked up an injury last month but is not expected to be out of action for more than a few more weeks.
Even if Redknapp does feel he is short on options, he could quite easily choose to recall Frankie Sutherland from his one-month loan spell at Leyton Orient.
Sutherland, in particular, is entitled to feel frustration. For a club which repeatedly bangs the drum about bringing through more young players, the list of academy youngsters given a prolonged run in the first team in recent seasons is virtually non-existent.
Faurlin’s injury is a blow for all concerned, but Redknapp has more than enough options already at his disposal to render a return to the loan market unnecessary on this occasion.
What would you do now if you were Redknapp?
image: © Tom Cuppens