Former Manchester City skipper can guide QPR to promotion, says Redknapp
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Veteran defender Richard Dunne will be a key player for QPR this season as they seek to return to the Premier League, believes Rangers manager Harry Redknapp.
Redknapp signed Dunne on a free transfer from Aston Villa in July, despite the 33-year-old centre-back missing all of last season because of a groin injury.
Dunne has now recovered from that injury, rewarding Redknapp with some promising displays in the early weeks of the Championship season, and also returning to the Republic of Ireland squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria next weekend.
“Richard Dunne is getting better and better, he will be a major player for us this year if we are going to be successful,” said Redknapp. “I think he needs to play, every week he is getting better and he seems to be getting over the injury that he had.”
Former Manchester City captain Dunne is one of the most experienced players in the country, playing more than 300 times for City and enjoying a successful four-year spell at Aston Villa.
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Despite his recent injury record, Dunne’s attributes have left Redknapp in no doubt of his value to a QPR side which wants to bounce back into the top flight after last year’s relegation.
Redknapp added: “I had no doubts about Dunny coming in. I felt that he was one of the best centre-halves in the Premier League and he’s going to be important to us.
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“People never used to understand Richard Dunne, they would say he had no pace – [but] he was lightning quick. [They said] he was a big lump and because of that he couldn’t run. But he was a powerhouse sprinter.
“He’s a good guy, he’s good to have around. He’s different to the people we have had here. He’s been there and done it all - he’s still quick as well.”