Faysal Bettache, Sinclair Armstrong…could any of QPR’s youngsters help with the promotion push?

3 min

The January transfer window can prove notoriously problematic in recruiting the right sort of quality to a squad, with many clubs reluctant to see their best players leave mid-season or without inflated transfer fees.

With QPR sitting fourth in the Championship table, promotion is well within their grasp, making it even more crucial there is enough squad depth to ensure they remain competitive for a final push in the gruelling 46-game campaign.

To make life even harder, the on-going Africa Cup of Nations continues to deny them the services of Ilias Chair (Morocco) and goalkeeper Seny Dieng (Senegal) who have progressed to the quarter-final stages with their respective countries.

It has led to the arrival of 36-year-old keeper David Marshall from Derby on a deal until the end of the season as cover for Dieng with the Scottish international already hitting the ground running with a string of fine displays.

The squad has also been bolstered by the return of four loanees this month – Faysal Bettache, Amrit Bansal-McNulty, Sinclair Armstrong and Joe Gubbins

Of these, midfielder Bettache (on loan at League Two Oldham Athletic) and striker Armstrong (on loan at National League Torquay United) perhaps have the biggest first-team claims, even if it is simply to add a burst of energy late in a game.

Despite only scoring a handful of goals, Armstrong not only left a big impression on Torquay fans but has caught the eye of many at QPR with his potential.

Manager Mark Warburton has also stressed his desire to bolster his squad’s firepower, particularly with both Andre Gray and Charlie Austin occasionally missing due to injury or personal reasons.

Speaking after the game against Swansea City, Warburton said: “I know we need attacking options. 

“When you want to make a substitution, when you want to change the tempo and dynamic of a game, you need to have those options.”

READ MORE: QPR’s January transfer window: Departing AFCON stars may force Mark Warburton to act

Whether this means Sinclair has caught the eye of Warburton is unknown, but the 18-year-old’s pathway has been cleared slightly with the departure of fellow forward Charlie Kelman’s return to Gillingham on loan until the end of the season.

Another loan departure has seen Stephen Duke-McKenna, a player who has featured for QPR in the Carabao Cup this term, join Torquay on loan for the remainder of the season.

With Torquay clearly impressing the club with the development of Sinclair, the hope would be that Duke-McKenna could have a similarly positive experience at Plainmoor before returning to W12 in the summer.

Although it may be difficult for any of the returning loan players to make an impact during the tail-end of an intense Premier League promotion push, one thing is certain – QPR have a squad not only for the present but also very much for the future.

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