Why QPR have struck gold with a new deal for Ilias Chair
According to the Brent and Kilburn Times, Queens Park Rangers have secured the long-term future of midfielder Ilias Chair with a bumper new three-year deal.
The 21-year-old has put pen to paper on fresh and improved terms, which should keep him at Loftus Road until the summer of 2023.
Chair spent the second half of the previous campaign on loan at Stevenage in League Two, where he impressed with 6 goals in 16 appearances, before establishing himself as one of the mainstays of the club’s midfield this term under Mark Warburton.
The versatile midfielder has played a part in all but one of QPR’s first seven fixtures in the Championship thus far, featuring in the starting eleven on three occasions and coming off the bench in the rest.
The 21-year-old has two assists to his name in the Championship but he is yet to register his first league goal this season, although the starlet did find the net in the penalty shootout victory over Bristol City in the first round of the League Cup.
Born in Belgium to parents of Moroccan descent, Chair started his career in the youth ranks of Club Brugge and Lierse before completing a switch to Loftus Road back in January 2016.
The midfielder spent the remainder of the 2016-17 campaign with the club’s elite development squad and it was only in the 2017-18 season that he broke into the first-team picture after impressing former manager Ian Holloway in training.
Chair made 7 appearances in all competitions in his debut season, scoring once, and followed it up with another 8 appearances in the first half of the previous campaign before being sent out on loan to Stevenage to further his development with more regular exposure at the highest level.
That loan spell has apparently paid rich dividends for both the club, as well as the player, with Ilias Chair now taking significant strides towards nailing down a substantial role under Mark Warburton.
The loan system has done a world of good to his development and QPR have rewarded him with a new deal as an acknowledgement of his rapid progress.
QPR have made a promising start to their campaign in the Championship this term, with the club currently placed 7th in the standings, just behind West Brom and Preston on goal difference, after winning four of their first 7 league games thus far.
And, while Jordan Hugill and Nakhi Wells have come up with some match-winning displays in front of goal, the young midfield contingent led by the flair and creativity of Eberechi Eze has been equally instrumental in the team’s strong start to the campaign, with Warburton showing plenty of faith in the likes of Chair, Eze, Bright Samuel and Spurs loanee Luke Amos.
QPR lost the services of one of their most influential midfielders, Luke Freeman, who departed for Sheffield United earlier in the summer, but that hasn’t had a negative impact till now, with several youngsters stepping up to deliver the goods.
Capable of operating in both No.10 and No.8 roles in the midfield, Chair has shown a lot of promise in the opening stages of the season, boasting of a pass success rate of 85.9,m including 2.2 long balls, 1.8 key passes. 2 shots and 1 tackle per game in the Championship.
All in all, the 21-year-old looks like a player with the potential to go on and have a big future at Loftus Road and it is a no-brainer that QPR have taken a step in the right direction by tying him down to a new long-term deal.