Diakite signing is watershed moment for QPR, says owner Fernandes

Queens Park Rangers owner Tony Fernandes describes Samba Diakite's signing as "watershed moment" for the club

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Mark Hughes guided Queens Park Rangers to Premier League safety last term The Sport Review

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Tony Fernandes has described the signing of Samba Diakite as a “watershed moment” moment for Queens Park Rangers as Mark Hughes looks to develop the Hoops into an established Premier League side.

Bolton Wanderers’ failure to beat Stoke City in the final league game in May ensured QPR remained in the top flight despite suffering a 3-2 defeat by champions Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium.

Hughes has already strengthened his squad this summer to ensure the Hoops avoid another relegation battle, with Diakite, Robert Green, Andy Johnson, and Ryan Nelsen all signing deals at Loftus Road over the past fortnight.

But QPR owner Fernandes is particularly delighted to secure Diakite on a permanent transfer after the Mali midfielder made an impressive impact during his loan spell from Nancy last season.

“Signing Samba is a watershed moment for us. He’s a very good player with great potential,” said Fernandes.

“He’s got a great future ahead of him, so we’re very happy to get him on board permanently. Samba was raw when he arrived, but he grew from strength to strength.

“He scored the winner against Arsenal and produced some great performances – he was a very key player for us last season and I’m sure he will be next term as well.”

Fernandes is hoping QPR’s early activity in the transfer market will help Hughes nurture a settled team ahead of the start of the Premier League in August.

“We’re very busy at the moment in terms of transfers,” he added.

“We’ve got time on our side this season, unlike last summer when we came into the Club quite late in the summer window.

“We’re trying to get our business done as early as possible to give Mark and his player’s time to settle. Things are going to plan – and it’s a case of so far, so good.”

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