Slammed shut. Not just the transfer window, but Harry Redknapp's window, too. It's been a remarkable summer of signings, watching Luis Suárez go for as much as £75 million, Loïc Rémygo for as little as £10.5 million and the most bizarre of all, seeing David Luiz depart for the best part of £50 million despite his World Cup horror show – the world's seemingly gone mad. Despite all this chaos, we focus on the latest London club to re-join the Premier League in Queens Park Rangers – how well have they dealt this time around?
First of all, there are three key ingredients for a newly-promoted side to survive a season in the Premier League; having experience and know-how amongst the players, leaders on the pitch and, perhaps most crucially, having a reliable goalscorer. Harry Redknapp managed to bring in Rio Ferdinand, and whilst he's clearly not at his peak anymore, he's exactly the sort of player you want in your side. He's a leader, has a vast amount of experience and is a still a good player – a quality signing considering what QPR have available to them. Along with the signings of fellow defenders Steven Caulker and Mauricio Isla, I'd be surprised if we saw many of those 4-0 thumpings like the one Spurs dealt them a couple of weeks ago.
Pushing further up the field, Sandro, along with Niko Kranjčar, Leroy Fer and Jordan Mutch have been brought in to boost the midfield which already consists of Joey Barton and Junior Hoilett. Decent signings, but alarm bells always start ringing for me when newly-promoted sides start buying players from recently-relegated sides – it doesn't bode well, in my opinion. Nevertheless, snatching up Sandro from Spurs is a nice bit of business.
Further up the pitch and you come to the striking options, which is my main worry when looking at Redknapp's starting XI. Last ditch attempts to lure Jermain Defoe and Fabio Borini to Loftus Road once Rémy finally departed failed, leaving Rangers slightly thin when it comes to attacking options. Charlie Austin is unproven at this level, Bobby Zamora is Bobby Zamora and you hardly want to be relying on Adel Taarabt to keep you in the division. They've scored once in three league games and also failed to score against Burton in the League Cup, reinforcing the need to buy a striker in January. However, if Austin can quickly adapt, it shouldn't be too much of a problem. That's a big ‘if’, though.
Ferrying away from the arrivals and we come to the departures, and it's hard to see much wrong here either. High wage earners and players which some might brand as “selfish” have gone – Park Ji-Sung's retired, Julio Cesar has left for Benfica, Esteban Granero has departed back to Spain and Yossi Benayoun back to Israel. These four are from a bunch 18 to leave the club this summer, with only nine new arrivals – a definite slashing of the wage budget. The most significant departure however is undoubtedly Rémy. For the £10.5 million Chelsea paid for him, that has got to be one of the bargains of the summer considering today's market, even more so when you consider the lack of real top quality strikers available.
Transfers aside, the start to the season hasn't been ideal for the R’s – three losses, one win and out of the League Cup before it was even September. The next four fixtures will be a key indicator as to how well Rangers will fair this season, all of which are up against opponents they should be looking to take points from. A continuation of their initial struggle could set the mood for the rest of the season. If Austin can find his shooting boots, they're definitely well-equipped to stay up and perhaps challenge for mid table.