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Wednesday, December 24, 2008

QPR Transfer Developments...Parejo Allegedly Earning the Highest Wage...Preparing for the Homegrown Players Rule

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Kilburn Times/Ben Kosky - The Iceman cometh
- QPR have agreed a deal to keep Saturday's two-goal hero Heidar Helguson at Loftus Road when the transfer window opens next week.
- Helguson is currently on loan from Bolton and Rangers boss Paulo Sousa offered a vague response when asked about the Icelandic striker's future following the 3-2 victory over Preston.
- But the Times understands that arrangements for a permanent transfer have already been concluded, with Rangers paying a fee in the region of £750,000 for the former Watford and Fulham forward's signature.
- Helguson's first-half double against Preston took his tally to three goals in five appearances - enough to make him the Rs' second highest scorer in Championship games this season.
- The impact made by the 31-year-old striker has kept top scorer Dexter Blackstock on the bench in recent games, but Saturday's match-winner welcomes the increase in competition for himself and fellow strikers Patrick Agyemang and Samuel Di Carmine.
- "Pat's been very unlucky - he's playing really well and it just hasn't landed for him, but I'm sure the goals will come," Blackstock told the Times.
- "It's only good for competition that Heidar's coming in and scoring goals because overall, as a team, we've struggled to score throughout the season. If he can add to that, long may it continue.
- "All we have to do is start picking up points away from home and we'll certainly be in the shake-up at the end of the season."
- Sousa declined to be drawn on transfer targets in the new year and reiterated his faith in the squad he inherited from Iain Dowie, insisting: "They need to understand all of them count in my mind, all of them are important in the team.
- "I believe a lot in my players, I have no doubts. The club know already what I need in January and I think we can get it but if we don't, it's not a problem.
- "This league is so competitive, you need to anticipate the problems and be prepared when they come."
- Rangers will also make Lee Cook's return from Fulham permanent during January and Sousa is reportedly keen to sign a replacement for injured midfielder Akos Buzsaky, who is out for the season.
- And the Rs coach has already made it clear that he is unwilling to accept players foisted on him by owner Flavio Briatore, having shown the door to costly misfit Daniel Parejo last week.
- Parejo was brought in during the summer on loan from Real Madrid as an ill-advised favour to Briatore's friend Ramon Calderon, the Spanish club's president - but he rarely impressed during his 18 appearances for QPR.
- The fact that his weekly earnings exceeded those of every other player at Loftus Road did not do much for dressing room morale either, and Sousa acted quickly to cut short the season-long loan.
- Meanwhile, Blackstock says Rangers are anxious to make amends for last month's 3-0 capitulation at Watford - Sousa's first match in charge - when they take on the Hornets again on Sunday at Loftus Road (kick-off 3pm).
- "We want to win any game at home, but it'd be great to beat Watford and show just how much we've come on as a team," added Blackstock.
- "I know we've really come on since the last time we played them and the football we're playing now is much better."
- Before that, the Rs make the short trip to The Valley for their Boxing Day clash with Charlton (1pm). Kilburn Times

Ben Kosky/Kilburn Times Rangers at home with new League rule
- RESERVE team manager Gareth Ainsworth is confident QPR will be able to cope when the Football League's new homegrown players rule comes into force.
- From the start of next season, League clubs must include at least four players in their matchday squad who have held domestic registration since the age of 18.
- As it stands, almost half of Rangers' current squad would not qualify as 'homegrown', including younger players such as Emmanuel Ledesma and Samuel Di Carmine.
- And that will place an added importance on nurturing domestic talent through the Centre of Excellence and the reserves.
- "It's difficult to pick out individual names," Ainsworth told the Times. "But I'm certain that when the rule does come in, we'll be well prepared for it.
- "At the moment, the reserves are going through an experimental stage - we're trying to mirror what the first team are doing and learn the system, which is common sense really.
- "The gaffer's taking a big interest. He's the kind of guy who will come and look at everyone anyway, he watches all the games and he'll already have an idea of who he wants."
- The new rule, which was agreed by a majority of clubs after last week's meeting at Pride Park, states that a homegrown player must be registered for at least three seasons prior to his 21st birthday.
- But Ainsworth thinks that may create confusion in the case of late arrivals to the professional game, who might not have held registration in England or anywhere else.
- "If we find somebody playing park football who isn't registered with anyone - which is exactly what happened with Angelo Balanta - would he count as a homegrown player?" Ainsworth queried.
- "Ian Wright didn't start playing professional football until much later than most people and he's as English as they come. Would he not have counted as homegrown?"
- Meanwhile, Balanta - who does qualify as homegrown despite being born in Colombia - has extended his loan with League Two leaders Wycombe Wanderers until February 14.
Kilburn Times

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