Top five: QPR players this season

Here's our opinion on Rangers' standout performers so far this campaign

5: Gary O’Neil

If ever a player is the ‘right sort’, it is Gary O’Neil, and the midfielder’s early performances this season make it clear just why Harry Redknapp was so keen to bring in the former Middlesbrough man during the summer. A central midfielder who can play on the wing, O’Neil is versatile, hard-working, consistent and a leader. O’Neil has made 12 appearances so far, mainly, it has to be said, due to injuries to Junior Hoilett and Matt Phillips, but he has produced some outstanding displays and there is certainly a case for him to be one of the first names on Redknapp’s team-sheet.

4: Richard Dunne

Nicknamed Richard the Lion-heart (ok, he’s not, but I just came up with it and I think it fits), the Republic of Ireland defender is another signing brought in for his natural leadership ability. QPR’s defence was a mess last season, but Dunne’s partnership with Clint Hill at centre-back has been a key factor in Rangers’ defence being the meanest in the league this time around, just eight goals conceded in 15 matches.

3. Charlie Austin

He may miss his fair share of chances, but Austin’s total of seven goals in 17 matches for QPR is not to be sniffed at. With Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson struggling for fitness and (when they do play) goals, Austin has very little competition up front and he has made the position his own. If he can add a little more consistency to his finishing, the man who signed form Burnley during the summer can cement his growing reputation as one of the best strikers in the division.

2. Rob Green

After all the trauma of last season, when Julio Cesar usurped Green practically within hours of the England man’s arrival at Loftus Road, things are going rather well for him now. Eight consecutive clean sheets in the league was a new Rangers record, and Green has barely put a foot wrong. With England No.1 Joe Hart having being dropped for club and country, would it be THAT surprising to see Green re-called into the England spot? Perhaps it would be, but helping QPR to promotion will only aid his re-emergence as a player of quality.

1. Junior Hoilett

Confident, direct, consistent, productive: all traits missing from Hoilett’s game last season for QPR. However, this season the winger has improved with practically every game. The former Blackburn man was Rangers’ best player in the recent draw at Reading which kept Rangers third in the Championship. His end-product is far better than it used to be, and with Matt Phillips on the opposite wing, QPR’s attack takes on a fearsome edge. A few more goals would be nice, mind.

images: © Tom Cuppens, © Ben Sutherland

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