Blackburn Rovers' £8m striker really would be perfect for QPR

Jordan Rhodes of Blackburn Rovers

Will Rangers make a move for highly-rated forward Rhodes?

For most of the season Harry Redknapp has repeated the claim that QPR must sign a striker, so it remains something of a mystery that he has not made a move for Blackburn Rovers' Jordan Rhodes.

Charlie Austin has been in prolific form for Redknapp’s side, who remain in the hunt for promotion to the Premier League, currently sitting third in the Championship table.

But Austin aside, there are not too many players capable of scoring regularly for Rangers. Strikers Bobby Zamora and Andy Johnson spend more time on the treatment table than the pitch, and neither has been a regular scorer at any stage of his career. Similarly, QPR’s midfielders rarely find the net – Matt Phillips is the club’s second-highest scorer with three.

So surely, as January edges on, Redknapp must consider a move for Rhodes - if funds are made available to him.

The 23-year-old Blackburn front-man has already scored 16 goals this season, on top of 33 last year and a whopping 40 the year before – almost 100 goals in less than three seasons.

Sunderland are understood to have shown interest, but Rovers manager Gary Bowyer said this week that there had been no offers.

Tellingly, however, he added: “We’re fully aware that if someone came in with an unbelievable bid we wouldn't be able to not accept it.”

If there is any club in the Championship capable of producing an ‘unbelievable’ bid, it is QPR. Their wealthy owner, Malaysian businessman Tony Fernandes, has not been reluctant to get out his chequebook so far in his two-and-a-half years at the club. Quite the opposite in fact, and perhaps that is the sticking point.

Fernandes has had his fingers burnt with a glut of big-name players who did little more than arrive in Shepherd’s Bush to bleed the club dry and get them relegated last season. It has taken a lot of time and a lot of effort to ship them out and stabilise the club again.

After forking out cash for flop after flop, is he now reluctant to sanction another big-money signing?

The majority of QPR’s recent signings – the likes of Yossi Benayoun, Niko Kranjcar and Tom Carroll – have been loans or free transfers, as Fernandes tries to balance the books.

But surely Rhodes is worth the gamble. He is young, hungry and a proven goal-scorer, a quality which Redknapp has repeatedly said he needs in his squad, and would represent genuine value for money. His presence would ease the burden on Austin, and Redknapp could even afford to rotate his strikers, a luxury he has rarely been afforded.

Or perhaps the reluctance is on Redknapp’s part. In his time at QPR the manager has preferred to stick with Premier League veterans such as Gary O’Neil and Richard Dunne – would a move for Rhodes represent a risk in Redknapp’s mind?

What is certain is that, sooner or later, Rhodes will be snapped up, and for a club with the wealth and resources of QPR, that would represent a huge missed opportunity.

image: © RoverTheBendInSussex

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