- Parlour, Neville and more: Twitter reacts to Welbeck’s Arsenal brace
- Photo: Mesut Özil hails ‘on fire’ Arsenal with dressing-room selfie
- Gary Neville: Chelsea will struggle to stop Arsenal’s Danny Welbeck
- Photo: Everton striker jets off to Russia with Romelu Lukaku and Samuel Eto’o
- Ramsey, Podolski and more: Twitter reacts as Arsenal beat Galatasaray
- ‘Chelsea’s Cesc Fàbregas will celebrate if he scores against Arsenal’
We’ve lost a leader! QPR’s Harry Redknapp on Ryan Nelsen exit
Harry Redknapp admits QPR have lost a "real leader" in Ryan Nelsen, adding Chris Samba's arrival doesn't guarantee survival
Harry Redknapp admits that Queens Park Rangers have lost a “real leader” after veteran defender Ryan Nelsen played his last game for the club in a goalless draw with Manchester City on Tuesday.
The New Zealand international has been a mainstay of QPR’s side this season, under both Redknapp’s predecessor Mark Hughes and the current manager.
However, Toronto’s managerial offer succeeded in luring the former Blackburn Rovers centre-half, who only joined the Hoops as back-up and never expected to feature on a regular basis, to the MLS.
Remarkably, Nelsen made 21 Premier League appearances for the Hoops, forging an impressive partnership with Clint Hill in recent weeks, after joining in the summer on a free transfer.
And QPR manager Redknapp says Nelsen will be missed.
“The big one was losing Ryan Nelsen. Because he had been so good for us, that was the key,” said Redknapp.
“We lost a real leader he had been absolutely fantastic for us.”
QPR have moved swiftly to replace Nelsen, with the Kiwi’s former Blackburn team-mate Chris Samba arriving at Loftus Road after completing a £12.5m switch from Anzhi Makhachkala.
On Friday, Redknapp revealed that he had drawn up a fanciful wish list of centre-halves which he would like to sign – names included Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, Nemanja Vidic and Samba.
But the QPR boss didn’t anticipate club owner Tony Fernandes pulling off a massive coup and signing one of his fantasy targets.
“I didn’t know anything about Chris Samba move, it was completely out of the blue,” he added.
“He sat down with me ten days ago and said who would you take, if you could anyone. I named Vidic, Ferdinand, Terry and Samba. I have tried to Samba loads of times in the past.
“The chairman just said to me that he was close to getting me one of those players on the list but he wouldn’t tell me who it was.
“And that was how it went. We sat there in the office me, Kevin (Bond) and Joe (Jordan) all guessing who it would be.
“He told me the day before he got him.”
However, Redknapp believes Samba’s arrival doesn’t necessarily guarantee QPR’s top-flight survival, with the Hoops boss adamant the Congo star is merely replacing a top-class outgoing defender.
“It doesn’t mean we are going to stay up just because we have bought Samba.
“It is a top centre-half replacing a top-centre half. If Ryan Nelsen had stayed here then I wouldn’t have had to buy Samba.
“Other clubs spend money down there; Villa have spent big money down there.
“People think they have bought just kids, go back to Darren Bent, you can go through a list of players there and they have spent good money as well. Richard Dunne and other players have all cost good money.”◀ The Sport Review homepageNext story ►
Join us on Facebook
Read more on...
Photos: Carrick and Rooney all smiles in Man Utd training1 hour ago Football
Rodgers delivers latest Liverpool injury update ahead of Baggies clash1 hour ago Football
Photos: Rodgers and Balotelli embrace as Liverpool gear up for West Brom2 hours ago Football
Photo: Tottenham’s Kyle Walker posts injury update on Instagram2 hours ago Football
‘Liverpool need to spend extraordinary money to replace Luis Suárez’2 hours ago Football
Chelsea striker scoops PFA fan player of the month award2 hours ago Football
Arsenal still crying out for holding midfielder, says Paul Merson4 hours ago Football
Arsenal legend hits back at Man Utd fans after Danny Welbeck’s hat-trick4 hours ago Football
Photo: Arsenal’s Podolski posts dressing-room picture with Welbeck5 hours ago Football
Arsenal transfers: Lukas Podolski hints at Gunners exit5 hours ago Football
Photo: Danny Welbeck with signed match ball after Arsenal hat-trick5 hours ago Football
Photo: Liverpool’s Suso posts injury update on Instagram5 hours ago Football
‘Chelsea’s Cesc Fàbregas will celebrate if he scores against Arsenal’6 hours ago Football
Danny Welbeck will outscore Radamel Falcao this season, says Arsenal legend6 hours ago Football
Daniel Sturridge can help improve Mario Balotelli, says Liverpool legend6 hours ago Football
Man Utd transfers: Barcelona star ‘will play in England next year’6 hours ago Football
Chelsea captain John Terry: Diego Costa is a great character7 hours ago Football
Photo: Cristiano Ronaldo thrilled with Real Madrid victory7 hours ago Football
Arsène Wenger leaps to the defence of Arsenal’s Wojciech Szczesny7 hours ago Football
Phil Thompson: Too soon to compare Danny Welbeck to Arsenal legend7 hours ago Football