Have newly promoted Queens Park Rangers learned their lesson, or are they about to repeat the mistakes that got them into the Championship in the first place? If today’s transfer rumours are to be believed, manager Harry Redknapp is set to continue the club’s big name recruitment policy by adding Chelsea’s Frank Lampard and former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand to his squad.
Fans at Loftus Road might have mixed feelings about the news after the way Rangers’ ‘star’ buys have turned out over recent years, but there are plenty of reasons why Lampard and Ferdinand can succeed where Djibril Cisse, Christopher Samba, Julio Cesar, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Kieron Dyer and others failed miserably.
Rangers won promotion back to the Premier League at the first time of asking by beating Derby County 1-0 in the play-off final at Wembley, a crucial result for the club given their level of debt and huge wage bill that has amounted as a result of some unwise overspending on star names that have underperformed.
Which might make the move for Lampard, out of contract at Chelsea, and Ferdinand, released by Manchester United, seem strange for a club that will surely want to get better value for money this summer.
The difference is that Lampard and Ferdinand, who will not command a fee, are still capable of playing top-flight football and have the appetite to do so. At 36 and 35 the pair are past their best but both come off the back of solid seasons, especially Lampard who is in the England World Cup squad for Brazil.
Of course, Redknapp knows both players extremely well – he brought both players through at West Ham United in the 1990’s and is Lampard’s uncle – and will know more than anyone they still have plenty to offer.
The former Tottenham Hotspur manager will be looking to cement QPR’s place in the top flight and recognises that the know-how and leadership – something missing from Rangers’ last disastrous Premier League stint – of the experienced duo will be invaluable to the cause and that singing the pair for free would be a no-brainer.