QPR should be keeping a close eye on Portsmouth target ahead of the summer: View | OneFootball

QPR should be keeping a close eye on Portsmouth target ahead of the summer: View | OneFootball

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Football League World

·21 February 2024

QPR should be keeping a close eye on Portsmouth target ahead of the summer: View

Article image:QPR should be keeping a close eye on Portsmouth target ahead of the summer: View

League One leaders Portsmouth are looking at making a deal for Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Marc Leonard, according to Football Transfers, but Queens Park Rangers should be the ones that are really pushing for him.

Portsmouth reportedly registered an interest in Leonard in the summer, but they wanted him permanently. The midfielder agreed a new deal with his parent club, and this rules out the possibility of a move to Fratton Park last summer; this summer could be a different story though.

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Pompey seem prepared to go back in for him, but they won't be alone as there are clubs in the Championship, Scottish Premiership, and in Europe that are keen on him, as per Football Transfers.

His contract with the club expires in 2025, but there is an option on Brighton's side to extend that by a further year.

The Glaswegian is currently on loan at Northampton Town, who are in the same division as Pompey, where he has proven himself to be one of the top young players, despite playing for a side that are in and around mid-table.

One of the Championship sides that are reported to be looking at Leonard should be QPR, because his play style would very much fit that of their current manager.

QPR should go after Marc Leonard in the summer transfer window

The 22-year-old is a technically sound and hard-working midfielder. For a manager like Marti Cifuentes, there's not too much more that you could ask for, and the chances are that he's not going to cost a large amount of money to get. Brighton can be stubborn in their sales, but those are usually when it comes to the big money moves, not selling an academy product to a Championship side.

Leonard is in the top 3% of players at his position in League One, this season, for passes completed per 90, the top 2% for touches per 90, and he also ranks highly for chances created, tackles won and interceptions per 90.

All of these things scream of a player that would fit well in Cifuentes' high-energy system. They don't have tonnes of depth in midfield, and the depth they do have consists of the likes of Jack Colback, who is coming towards the back end of his career. Sam Field is QPR's current standout player in Leonard's position.

The jump up in level would be a challenge, but, even if he wasn't plugged into the starting XI immediately, he'd have a chance to fully get to grips with Cifuentes' style of play, and how he'd be used in QPR's team.

Marc Leonard deserves to play in the Championship

Even though the form of the R's has picked up since the Spaniard took over from Gareth Ainsworth, there is still a possibility that they will go down to League One and Portsmouth replace them in the Championship. So, Leonard has the option for a second-tier move, regardless of whether this scenario plays out or not, and he has earned it.

The way he has played for Northampton this season shows that he is capable of making the step-up to playing at the level above. If Brighton felt that he was a player that could have a positive effect on their first team, then they would have kept him. Granted, when he comes back for pre-season at the start of the next campaign, their minds may have changed about that, but Championship game time should be his minimum aspiration for the 2024/25 season.

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