Many people had predicted that QPR would face relegation in the current season. Despite Gareth Ainsworth’s efforts to maintain a positive outlook, the team’s performance this year has been far from impressive.
After the first 11 games of the 2023/24 Championship season, QPR finds itself in 22nd place with only two wins and no victories at Loftus Road. Ainsworth has now presided over the lengthiest winless streak at Loftus Road among all QPR managers. While he remains a beloved former player among the fans, his popularity as a manager is dwindling rapidly.
Though there’s still a long season ahead, it’s challenging to envision QPR significantly improving their current situation. The club’s problems run deep, and some of them can be traced back to the summer transfer window. While QPR made some promising free signings such as Asmir Begovic and Jack Colback, with Steve Cook being another positive addition, they made a significant mistake by not signing any loan players.
Loan players have been instrumental in QPR’s recent seasons, often altering the team’s fortunes. However, this time around, there are no loan players to rely on. The question arises: why didn’t QPR acquire any loan players?
It’s plausible that QPR attempted to secure loan players in the summer, but it’s possible that Premier League or Championship clubs were reluctant to send their young talents to QPR. Premier League clubs typically use loan spells to offer their young players first-team experience and send them to clubs and managers who can shape them in a specific way.
For example, Hull City is known for playing an appealing and dynamic style of football, and their manager, Liam Rosenior, mentioned that this was a deciding factor in many of their summer transfers. In contrast, QPR was widely expected to struggle in the current season, playing a less attractive style of football under Ainsworth, who deserves credit for attempting to change his approach this season.
As a result, the prospects of QPR securing loan signings in January seem less likely than they did in the summer, considering their poor performance thus far.