Eustace: Staying at QPR would be good for Osayi-Samuel

John Eustace believes Bright Osayi-Samuel would benefit from staying at QPR.

Several clubs expressed an interest in Osayi-Samuel during the final days of the January transfer window.

Since then, Belgian side Club Brugge have had an offer for the winger rejected and several English clubs have been linked with him.

He has a year remaining on his contract, with Rangers having taken up a clause to extend his deal, which was due to expire this summer.

Discussions about a longer-term contract are ongoing, although it seems a question of when rather than if Osayi-Samuel moves on.

‘Gradual process’

But QPR assistant manager Eustace is convinced the 22-year-old should remain at Loftus Road for at least another year.

“If Bright has another season with us – and hopefully he will – then I think he’ll develop into a top player,” Eustace said.

“If he ends up leaving, then fair enough. But I do think it would be good for him if he stays.”

QPR: Bright Osayi-Samuel
Osayi-Samuel was in excellent form before the season was suspended

While much of the attention has been on Ebere Eze, Osayi-Samuel has made immense progress in the last year or so.

Signed from Blackpool in the summer of 2017, he took some time to establish himself as a first-team regular at QPR.

But his potential has been obvious and his performances this season have enhanced his reputation.

“It’s been a gradual process with Bright,” Eustace said.

“We don’t want to put too much pressure on the youngsters, but they have to go through the stage in their career where they’re developing.

“Bright has been doing that and has been terrific. Both Bright and Ebere have done really well.”

QPR conveyor belt

As for Eze, a move to bigger and better things looks inevitable.

The latest Rangers number 10 – the shirt previously worn by legends Rodney Marsh and Stan Bowles as well as the likes of Simon Stainrod, John Byrne, Roy Wegerle and Adel Taarabt – has continued to impress.

Eustace believes Ilias Chair is capable of following a similar path.

The former Watford midfielder, who joined QPR when Steve McClaren took over as manager in 2018,  explained: “When I came to QPR, Ebere had already been developing.

“He’d been out on loan at Wycombe and that’s an important part of it.

QPR forward Ebere Eze
Eze has been linked with several top-flight clubs

“He’s been showing the whole country what a talented player he is. But it’s not an overnight thing – this time last year I don’t think everyone would have been as complimentary.

“It’s about learning and developing, which he’s been doing brilliantly. I think we all know there’s only one place he’s going to end up.

“He loves wearing that number 10 shirt. He just takes everything in his stride. It’s great to see him develop.

“I think Ilias is now in the kind of position Ebere was last season.

“Seeing Ilias develop has been great. He’s been excellent and if he keeps developing he can become a top player as well.”

Changes were needed

Steady progress is Eustace’s mantra when it comes to Rangers’ young players.

In terms of the squad as a whole, however, he felt a very different approach was needed a year ago.

Eustace ended last season in interim charge following the sacking of McClaren.

He felt radical changes would be needed – and made that view clear when Mark Warburton eventually took over as manager.

Warburton heeded the advice and presided over a huge turnover of players.

It raised eyebrows at the time but has arguably been vindicated by a promising season in which QPR could yet reach the play-offs.

“I felt we needed some energy and some new faces going forward,” Eustace explained.

“The squad had been together a while and there had been some ups and downs in the couple of seasons before.

“The direction the club is going is to develop young players, but to do that you need to have some good senior pros as well.

“I’ve not long retired as a player and I feel I know what a club needs when it’s been through a transitional period – and QPR had been through that.”