After the play-off win back in May, QPR fans will have been hoping their transfer strategy wouldn’t have reassembled a poor man’s version of Real Madrid’s ‘Galacticos’. Rio Ferdinand signing began to see those fears – of ageing players on large wages – return, but the reported interest in the recently relegated Norwich City player Leroy Fer could see a remedy to those fears.
Despite playing for a relegated side last season, Leroy Fer still saw his name announced in the Dutch World Cup squad – a sign of the potential the midfielder possesses. His impact on the tournament was short yet sweet, with a goal against Chile with his first touch, before a hamstring injury prevented him from playing any further part. It is very important not to judge players on their international form though, and while Fer has only had a handful of caps the words ‘Netherlands international’ can add extra millions to a transfer fee.
Based on his performances for Norwich it is a surprise there isn’t a longer queue for Fer. The former FC Twente midfielder had his struggles with the physicality of the Premier League, most young players do, and this saw his form drop by February, but the dominant performances he managed beforehand were a testament to his ability.
Fer is a classic box to box midfielder and has drawn similarities with Yaya Toure by some fans as he managed to gallop up the pitch and beat opposition players, despite his tall frame – and this resulted in winning goals against West Ham and West Brom – whilst also being able to produce some inch-perfect passes into either the channel or the striker playing on the last defender’s shoulder. His defensive attributes were also on show, with Fer making the most tackles for Norwich throughout the whole season (60) and winning a ground duel every 16.88 minutes, as well as winning the ball in the middle third of the pitch on 88 occasions.
The young Dutch player does come with his faults though. Last season, Fer struggled with the pace of the Premier League and was regularly caught on the ball resulting in the loss of possession, alongside giving away the most fouls for his current team (51). These are things that Fer will need to improve on however, and with the right coaching as well as further experience in the English top flight he should eradicate these weaknesses from his game.
If QPR manage to sign Leroy Fer – Norwich are expected to play hardball with incoming bids for their players this summer – the London club will gain a valuable asset, especially for the reported £5million, and signals a brighter term in the Premier League compared to their stint a couple of seasons ago.