If the newspapers are to be believed QPR’s first summer signing will be West Ham’s out of contract England international goalkeeper Rob Green. Chris King gives LFW his thoughts.
While the European Championships stir the interest of football fans across the continent, the summer transfer merry-go-round has begun in earnest. Following a plethora of goalkeeper-based rumours, and offers apparently made for stoppers ranging from Shay Given to Ben Foster, Fraser Forster to Michel Vorm Rangers have allegedly found their man. Robert Green, 32-years-old, is currently a free agent at West Ham United after failing to agree a new contract at Upton Park.
With Green part of the England squad in Poland, any signing is unlikely to be announced until after the tournament (or at least following the Three Lions’ valiant quarter-final exit). Furthermore, the club’s policy of “if we don’t report it, it hasn’t happened” means that for now this remains an internet rumour, albeit a rather potent one that the national press have been quoting for days now in their droves.
Should the transfer go through, it has been reported that Green will actually be taking a wage cut to join QPR on a £40,000 per week deal. Astonishing though this is, don’t think that the R’s have abandoned laissez-faire capitalism for financial stringency; he will be awarded an astronomical signing on fee.
The major implication of Green’s arrival will be the departure of Paddy Kenny. Neil Warnock, now the manager of Championship side Leeds, has coveted “his keeper” ever since he took the job, and it is highly unlikely Kenny will simply accept having his number one spot taken from him. The relationship between Warnock and the 34-year-old is incredibly strong, and Kenny has spent the vast majority of his career under the tutelage of the Yorkshireman.
On this basis, it only seems fair to pay tribute to the man who kept 24 clean sheets in the R’s title-winning season, and on more than one occasion this past year was the last (and once or twice only) line of defence as Rangers adjusted to life in the Premier League. In reality, however, these two transfers make sense for all concerned.
Leaving aside Green’s nightmare moment in the 2010 World Cup, his ability as a goalkeeper cannot really be questioned, and he has the top flight experience QPR require as they look to build a bona-fide Premier League starting 11. He may not be the best on crosses, but this is a perennial weakness afflicting most goalkeepers, and it might be argued that as long as a keeper can inspire confidence in the defence, he is worth having. There is no evidence to suggest that Green cannot do this.
While on the subject of speculation and half-truths, it is well worth taking a second to analyse some of the more unrealistic items that have arisen thus far. While the vast majority of players linked to the club have been those paid to keep goals out, the most outlandish of all concerned a striker remunerated for his ability to thwart the man between the posts. Olivier Giroud, also far more realistically linked with Arsenal, scored 21 league goals for Montpellier as they won the Ligue 1 title for the first time in the club’s history. With his agent valuing Giroud at £50m, and an alleged buy-out clause of £12.8m, methinks this was one of those “slow news day” rumours. Because naturally a 25-year-old striker, called up to the French squad for Euro 2012, in his goal scoring prime, would elect to join a side that avoided relegation by a single point. We can dream.