QPR youngster must be given more minutes with Matt Smith not up to scratch

Matt Smith of Queens Park Rangers reacts after missing a chance on goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Sheffield United and Queens Park Rangers at Bramall Lane on January 12,...

Aramide Oteh has impressed for Queens Park Rangers' U23 side this term, and scored the opener in the FA Cup win over Leeds United last weekend.

Matt Smith of QPR looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between West Bromwich Albion and Queens Park Rangers at The Hawthorns on August 18, 2018 in West Bromwich, England.

Despite being Queens Park Rangers' top scorer last season, Matt Smith has failed to deliver in the Championship this term. The former Fulham striker has gone 21 appearances without scoring, leaving much to be desired. 

From manager Steve McClaren's perspective, he needs to be eyeing an alternative option and none look better than Aramide Oteh. The young hopeful reminded R's fans and McClaren what he is all about, after scoring from the spot against Leeds United in the FA Cup last weekend. 

 

Oteh has been in great form for QPR's U23s, scoring 11 times this season, and his pace and natural eye for goal would see him add plenty to McClaren's side. Granted, Nahki Wells will be the first-choice striker, but Oteh can prove a useful weapon from the bench. 

Oteh has the potential to be a similar striker to Wells, in fact, and he certainly provides a more viable option than Smith, who relies mainly on his height to hurt the opposition. 

Aramide Oteh of Queens Park Rangers celebrates after scoring the first goal during the FA Cup Third Round match between Queens Park Rangers and Leeds United at Loftus Road on January 6,...

Playing long balls to Smith is far too predictable and defenders will quickly double up on him. So far, his 328 minutes of action have not prompted a single league goal, so McClaren must act now. 

It appears unlikely, but Rangers are still in with a chance of the play-offs, and Oteh's inclusion from the bench can go some way to help achieving this for the west Londoners. 

Aramide Oteh of Queens Park Rangers celebrates scoring the first QPR goal during the FA Cup Third Round match between Queens Park Rangers and Leeds United at Loftus Road on January 6, 2019...

If McClaren does put faith in the former Tottenham Hotspur youngster, he will have some competition from Tomer Hemed when he returns from injury. But it will only benefit QPR's attack as the business end of the season approaches. 

Despite Smith's usefulness from set pieces and at corners, it has not paid off this season, and now is the time for Oteh to be given a proper run out and gain some valuable first-team experience. 

Aramide Oteh of QPR scores the opening goal from the penalty spot during the FA Cup Third Round match between Queens Park Rangers and Leeds United at Loftus Road on January 6, 2019 in...

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