Leroy Fer is being eyed hungrily by a host of Premier League clubs as one of the few scraps of choice meat worth stripping from the QPR cadaver following their relegation to the Championship.
The Dutch midfielder was part of a small minority of R’s whose 2014/15 showings didn’t tarnish their reputations as able top-flight performers and looks likely to get a move away from Loftus Road before the transfer window’s closure.
However, interested parties best be warned, Fer is a player clubs should stop at nothing to avoid.
If you’ve already put a bid in for him, redact it. If you get a call from an agent about him, hang up. If he turns up at your office pleading to be signed, offering to play for nothing, call security immediately.
These measures may strike as drastic, but they are entirely necessary unless having the worst possible fortunes afflict your team in 2015/16 are your intentions.
Everybody knows Fer’s single-season stints at QPR and Norwich ended in both clubs being relegated to the second tier, but there is heaps of evidence from his time in the Eredivisie, not so widely recognised, that reduce the degree of coincidence behind the 25-year-old’s involvement in these two disastrous campaigns.
Look at what happened at Twente, his final Dutch paymasters. They bought him from Feyenoord in 2011 after finishing second, first and second in the three seasons prior to his Enschede arrival.
They ended Fer’s first year on the books in sixth, some 16 points adrift of top spot and stagnated in this unspectacular berth in his second and final campaign.
Liberation from the midfielder’s anchoring weight for just one season was all it took for Twente to reclaim their position of prominence amongst the Netherlands’ elite, climbing to third in 2013/14 as his new employers Norwich were simultaneously demoted.
The opening three years of his four-term stint at Feyenoord were relatively unremarkable, before they plummeted to tenth, their lowest finish in 21 years, during his swansong season.
Just as the case was with Twente, once ties with Fer with severed, De Stadionclub savoured much more favourable results, floating to a second-place finish in the Eredivisie as his Enschede employers regressed.
Even the Netherlands national team experienced Fer’s debilitating impact, albeit on a lesser scale, finishing third in the 2014 World Cup with him in the squad, as opposed to second in the same competition four years earlier without him.
Of course, Norwich had a promotion to celebrate at the end of the season they shipped out the Dutchman and QPR would be wise to follow this course of action…if they can dupe someone into taking him.