Warburton wants QPR to sign centre-back

QPR manager Mark Warburton

Mark Warburton wants QPR to bring in a centre-back during next month’s transfer window.

Jordy de Wijs’ ongoing injury problems are a worry for Rangers, who are in the thick of the promotion race as Christmas approaches.

Boss Warburton is concerned that a lack of options in the position might become a costly problem during the second half of the season.

And he does not feel Conor Masterson would be the answer at this stage of the young Irishman’s career.

He has therefore told the Rangers hierarchy a new signing is needed in order to maintain a strong promotion push.

De Wijs could be out until after the January window with a calf problem and has been plagued by injuries since being brought in on loan from Hull last season.

The Dutchman, signed on a permanent deal during the summer, has not played since going off in the 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest on 29 October – and has managed just 20 Championship starts during his 11 months at Rangers.

QPR defender Jordy De Wijs
De Wijs’ absence is a concern for Rangers

Warburton currently has other options in the centre of defence but one or two other injuries in addition to De Wijs’ propensity to miss matches could create a problem in a key area during a crucial stage of the campaign.

Masterson, 23, is on loan at Cambridge United until January and Warburton believes he should complete the season away from W12.

Warburton thinks highly of him but has long been keen for Masterson, who had no first-team experience prior to being signed in July last year after being released by Liverpool, to spend a significant period of time out on loan in order to develop.

QPR defender Conor Masterson
Warburton was keen to get Masterson out on loan

A loan spell at Swindon last season, which was seen as vital to Masterson’s football education, was cut short by a nasty hamstring injury. 

He has impressed when he has featured for QPR but just has 33 league starts to his name.

With the stakes so high for Rangers, who have a realistic chance of reaching the Premier League, Warburton wants a more seasoned defender to boost the squad.

QPR injury woes

His immediate problem, though, is in wide areas.

Sam McCallum is a long-term injury absentee and Albert Adomah, Lee Wallace and Moses Odubajo are currently sidelined along with striker Lyndon Dykes.

The loss of Odubajo is a particularly big blow as he can operate on both flanks.

Sam Field, usually a midfielder, was deployed as a left wing-back in Sunday’s 2-0 defeat against Stoke.

Warburton admitted: “Moses is a devastating one because he can play left and right. So that’s a problem.

“We’ll see how he is, but I’m hoping 10 to 14 days for these guys – I’m hoping. I just don’t know.”

But Warburton insists that naming just six substitutes for the Stoke game was not an attempt to show the club’s board that reinforcements are needed.

He said: “We’ve got a squad of 22. I couldn’t name all the subs. That wasn’t a statement, it was just a fact. Simple as that.

“We’ve lost four wing-backs and had six players out.

“We were light, but that’s the Championship and you have to deal with it.”