QPR must build their team around Tjaronn Chery next season
PUBLISHED: 14:45 01 June 2016 | UPDATED: 14:50 01 June 2016
COMMENT: There were rare shining lights to take from the 2015-16 season for QPR, a campaign that won’t live long in the memory for anyone connected to the club, but the re-emergence of Tjaronn Chery was certainly one of them.
The Dutchman was a regular under former boss Chris Ramsey at the start of the season, producing a number of impressive displays, with some excellent goals along the way – most notably a stunning solo effort against Bolton Wanderers back in October.
A four-month barren spell followed thereafter, though, with Ramsey’s departure as manager coinciding with him finding regular football hard to come by under caretaker boss Neil Warnock and then during the early stages of Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s reign.
Chery was growing frustrated with his lack of first-team action at Rangers, and had the opportunity to make a shock exit from W12 in January, with Maccabi Tel Aviv expressing a strong interest in signing the 27-year-old.
But the former Groningen playmaker, who is settled in London with his girlfriend, had no intention of giving up on his Premier League dream and departing QPR.
Chery’s ambition and confidence are clear for all to see, but at the same time he is a mellow and calm character, certainly not one of the ‘bad eggs’ QPR have had in surplus demand on their books over the last few years.
He thrives in the No 10 role, with his pace and trickery making him a force to be reckoned with against any side in the second tier.
Ten goals in 41 games - with six of those coming in the final four months of the season - was a decent return for his first season in new surroundings, with the Championship a tough proposition for any footballer to adjust to even after plying your trade in it for years – just ask Karl Henry.
Hasselbaink has made no secret of how highly he rates Chery, but has stated that he still believes the player has a fair bit of fine tuning to do to utilise most of his ability.
QPR have wasted millions upon millions in recent years, but the £2.25m capture of Chery certainly wasn’t part of that.
He has genuine class and gets Rangers fans off their seats in the same way former Rs favourite Adel Taarabt did in that memorable 2010/11 Championship title-winning campaign.
After all, QPR fans do love a maverick. Chery is only going to get better, so Hasselbaink must make the most of him while having him at his disposal.
The former Burton Albion boss should make Chery his main man, in the same way Warnock did Taarabt in the aforementioned campaign – although not hand him the same ‘free role’ as such.
There’s no other player in the current QPR squad, who has the same unpredictability, skill and class Chery possesses, and that needs to be reflected with a more substantial and important role in this side.
In all likelihood, if Chery carries on in the same vein next season as he ended the last campaign, he’ll have no shortage of suitors in January and beyond.
Rangers will make a push for the play-offs next season, but whether they actually get there and mount a serious challenge for promotion is another thing.
It is unlikely that the attacking midfielder would fancy a third year plying his trade in the Championship, as he is more than good enough to play at the highest level.
Therefore, Rangers fans should make the most of him while he’s at the club – he’s genuine quality and a joy to watch.
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