Talking Sport: Samba gamble could backfire for Rangers

Chris Samba in action against Pompey in 2009, in his Pompey days
Chris Samba in action against Pompey in 2009, in his Pompey days

The transfer window has shut, meaning that Jim White on Sky Sports News, can now go to bed. It was not as dramatic as previous years, with clubs seemingly learning from costly mistakes of the past - writes Patrick Norrie.

The most interesting aspect this year was Queens Park Rangers’ transfer dealings conducted by Harry Redknapp.

The window would not be the same without seeing Redknapp chatting to the press from the comfort of his car. This January was a particularly important month, though, for the man who hates to be called a wheeler-dealer as he tries to save QPR from relegation.

However, there is something unsavoury about QPR’s transfers. For me, the signing of Tal Ben Haim is symbolic of the club’s transfer activities.

He left Pompey in acrimonious circumstances over his wages in August last year. Represented by Pini Zahavi, dubbed the super-agent, he has managed to carve out a career in the Premier League in the past. Yet recently, he has probably spent more time defending his wages to administrators and fans than defending on the pitch.

Chris Samba, on the other hand, is a signing that makes more sense, based on football ability. Redknapp lauded his physical qualities on the day he joined QPR, calling him a ‘monster’.

This presence was evident during his time at Blackburn Rovers, where he became one of the team’s main goal threat even though he is a centre-back.

However, it is the circumstances of the transfer that’s a worry. Rumours swirled round after he signed that he would be earning £100,000 per week. This rumour has been quashed by his agent, although he did reassure everyone his wages are ‘Premier League-sized’.

The overriding concern is QPR seem to be spending beyond their means via astronomical wages. One wonders whether Redknapp has learned his lesson, having witnessed the disastrous effect this had at Fratton.

The lure of the transfer window is that a team’s fortune can be transformed by one new signing. But this doesn’t always work out, as was seen in the summer transfer window, which proved an ineffective one for QPR despite the splurge.

Such short-termism is demonstrated by the fact that Samba is the 27th purchase of Tony Fernandes’ 17-month Loftus Road tenure.

Ultimately, the new signings are an expensive gamble that could prove calamitous for the club in the long-term if relegated.

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