Mark Hughes continued to bolster his first-team squad last week after snapping up the services of David “Junior” Hoilett from Blackburn Rovers on a four-year deal. The 22-year-old, who was out of contract, is the seventh new signing to arrive at Loftus Road this summer and reunites with former boss Hughes, having played under the Welshman at Ewood Park earlier in his career:
The young Canadian was on the radar of many clubs this summer – Borussia MGladbach were one of several suitors but, despite the allure of Champions League football at the Bundesliga club, Hoilett admitted the chance to team up with Hughes was a significant factor in his decision to move to London.
The manager obviously played a big part in my decision to come here. He’s someone I know well here having worked with him and his backroom team at Blackburn. I signed my first professional contract under him and I will always remember that and be grateful to him. Working under such a great manager will help me to develop my skills and further my career.
Hoilett began his career in Blackburn’s youth academy, joining the Ewood Park outfit as a 13-year-old – whilst in England he was unable to obtain a work permit, however, and was subsequently loaned out in order to earn one in the future. His first game time came in the 2007-8 campaign with SC Paderborn 07 in the German Second Division where, over the course of 13 appearances, he managed a couple of assists and a goal. The following campaign saw Hoilett once again ply his trade in the same league with a stint at St Pauli – this time he had a more significant impact, netting six times and providing four assists over 26 league games and helping the club to an eighth place finish.
Over the past three seasons, Hoilett’s contribution in terms of both appearances and attacking returns have increased since receiving his work permit at Rovers. He managed 23 league appearances in the 2009/10 campaign but failed to find the net or provide a single assist, while the following campaign produced five goals and an assist in 24 matches as the young Canadian began to finally settle in the Premier League. Last term proved a major turning point in his role for the Ewood Park side – Hoilett started 34 of Blackburn’s matches and contributed to 13 of their 48 goals with seven goals and six assists, a tally bettered only by Yakubu.
Certainly, Hughes was far from sparing in his praise of the latest acquisition and, unlike many of his summer signings, is more than familiar with Hoilett – the pair’s time together at Blackburn could well work in the Canadian’s favour:
Junior is a player I know very well. He was just a young boy trying to make his way in the game when I had him at Blackburn. We knew then he was going to have a great future and he’s certainly showed that talent over the last few seasons at Ewood Park. He’s shown he’s a player of top quality and a player that can makes things happen, both on his own and as a team player. He’s certainly a player that will enhance what we’ve got in the group and I am delighted he’s chosen to come to us.
Hoilett’s versatility is also likely to prove beneficial to his game time in the upcoming campaign; able to play on either flank as well as in “the hole” and up front, he offers plenty of options to the QPR boss – a factor that could well be crucial when assessing QPR’s Fantasy assets.
His classification across the Fantasy games is perhaps the key issue when determining his appeal; bearing in mind he started just three times up front for Rovers in 2011/12, it’s perhaps surprising Hoilett has been listed as a forward in the Sky Sports game, coming in at a cost of 7.1. FPL earlier today listed him as a 6.5 midfielder, revising their decision to class him as a front man last term.
With a multitude of forward options, Hoilett’s chances of a regular role are likely to come on the flank. The club’s recent friendly matches have seen Hughes roll out 4-4-2 and 4-4-1-1 formations – he’ll be determined to tighten up on the road after collecting a single point in nine away games since replacing Neil Warnock midway through last season and the latter formation could well be applied away from home. Adel Taarabt impressed in “the hole” in a recent 5-0 friendly win over Kalantan and may be moved centrally for away games – his potential spot-kick duties, allied with his share of set-pieces and 6.0 price tag, boost the Moroccan’s appeal considerably and suggest Hoilett is likely to struggle to pick up initial investment, however.
Looking at the fixture list, the first couple of Gameweeks offer QPR a chance to get quickly out the blocks. A home clash with Swansea and a trip to Norwich look prosperous but, immediately afterwards, (mci, CHE, tot) is enough to deter us from their attacking assets. The R’s schedule then takes a turn for the better from Gameweek 6; by then, Hughes’ intentions will hopefully be far more apparent ahead of a run of games that sees (WHM, EVE, RDG, SOT) all visit Loftus Road by Gameweek 12.
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For Gameweek 38
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Next Six Ticker
|No Change||Hart||MCI||B, Vs|
|Up||Robles||WIG||C, Vs, £|
|No Change||Lloris||TOT||C, Vs|
|No Change||Foster||WBA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Vorm||SWA||C, Vs|
|No Change||Mignolet||SUN||B, Vs|
|No Change||De Gea||MUN||A|
|Up||Boruc||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Kompany||MCI||B, Vs, Rest|
|No Change||Vertonghen||TOT||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Luiz||CHE||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Boyce||WIG||C, Vs, OoP|
|No Change||Cuéllar||SUN||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Rangel||SWA||C, Vs|
|Up||Clyne||SOT||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Mata||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Hazard||CHE||B, Vs, Rest, Inj|
|Up||Maloney||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|No Change||Y Touré||MCI||B, Vs|
|No Change||Silva||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Tevez||MCI||A, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Koné||WIG||B, Vs, £|
|Down||van Persie||MUN||A, Vs|
|Up||Lukaku||WBA||B, Vs, Rest|
|Down||Aguero||MCI||B, Vs, Inj|
|Up||Rodriguez||SOT||A, Vs, £|
|Up||Defoe||TOT||B, Vs, Rest|
|Up||Ba||CHE||C, Vs, Rest|
|A, B, C||Current Form|
|Inj||Injured/Returning from Injury|
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