QPR boss reveals ‘Taarabt role’ for Kranjcar

Niko Kranjcar

Niko Kranjcar - Credit: PA Archive/Press Association Images

Harry Redknapp wants to unleash new signing Niko Kranjcar in the No.10 role vacated by Adel Taarabt this season as he continues to mould his new-look QPR side.

Kranjcar is expected to become a key player at Loftus Road, after he arrived in west London on a season-long loan deal from Dynamo Kiev on transfer deadline day.

Redknapp believes that the 29-year-old will add guile and incision to the QPR attack, and wants to play Kranjcar ‘in the hole’ behind Charlie Austin in a new 4-2-3-1 system.

The Croatia international can also play wide on the left, and Redknapp, who managed Kranjcar at Tottenham and Portsmouth, says the new signing gives him plenty of options.

“I’ve got the option of Niko playing in behind, the No.10 role,” said Redknapp. “He’s fantastic in there, a little bit like [Rafael] van der Vaart when I played him at Tottenham.

“He can play on the left, where he comes inside and drifts into little pockets between the lines, or he can play off the front. He can score and see a pass to play someone in on goal.”

Kranjcar missed the Birmingham match at the weekend with a slight injury, which was also expected to keep him out of yesterday’s clash with Brighton & Hove Albion.

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But he is set to play in this weekend’s trip to Yeovil, alongside fellow new signing Matt Phillips and the impressive Junior Hoilett.

“[Kranjcar] is a fantastic footballer and I’m pleased to have him,” added Redknapp. “He was looking to come here, this transfer dragged on quite a while.

“He wasn’t playing in Ukraine and he’d made it clear that he wanted to come home to London and play here. They left him out, so he wasn’t playing.

“You’ve also got Matt Phillips, who I think is going to be a big player – he’s got pace and ability, all the ingredients – and Junior [Hoilett] has been in good form as well.”