QPR boss defends decision to loan out Smyth

Mark Warburton has insisted QPR are right to loan Paul Smyth out again.

Wycombe have completed the signing of Smyth on a season-long deal.

West London Sport recently revealed that Gareth Ainsworth was looking to snap up Smyth and also later revealed that the move had been agreed.

Smyth, who turns 22 in September, spent the second half of last season on loan at Accrington Stanley and now returns to League One to play for Ainsworth’s Wycombe.

Smyth, who joined the R’s from Linfield two years ago, scored on his QPR debut, against Cardiff City in January 2018, and was well liked by the then Rangers manager Ian Holloway.

But Smyth was surplus to requirements under Holloway’s successor Steve McClaren, who substituted him at half-time against Sheffield United last August and used him only once more in the league before the player was eventually sent on loan to Accrington.

He made 16 appearances for the Lancashire side, scoring three goals.

Smyth is currently below the likes of Ebere Eze – who had a loan spell at Wycombe under Ainsworth – and Bright Osayi-Samuel in the pecking order at Rangers and current boss Warburton intends to bring in at least two attacking players.

Warburton told Rangers’ website: “Paul came to the club, settled in well and made a very positive impression.

“However, he now needs to continue his development by playing regular first-team football and in Gareth and Wycombe we have the perfect environment for this to happen.

“Yes, he could benefit from being around the first-team squad here and having occasional pitch time but our focus has to be on having Paul develop as swiftly as possible and there is no better teacher than playing the game itself.

“We will work closely with Gareth, someone we trust and respect very much, to ensure that Paul’s development is closely monitored, with the focus on being to have Paul return to the club at the end of the season a better player for the experience.”

QPR are among a number of clubs targeting West Ham striker Jordan Hugill. 

Enquiries have also been made about several youngsters at Premier League clubs – in particular Arsenal, where Warburton’s right-hand man Neil Banfield spent 21 years on the coaching staff.