QPR: Is Jamie Mackie's popularity stopping QPR from accepting a very good deal?
Despite all of the new, more established signings made by QPR over the past year, you will be hard pressed to find a more popular figure at Loftus Road than Jamie Mackie.
The now Scottish international’s all action displays, and key contributions at pivotal moments last season (the 93rd minute winner in the 3-2 turnaround against Liverpool and the goal that gave QPR the lead in the season finale at the Etihad spring to mind), have ensured he continues to be one of the most popular players at the club.
Mackie has consistently exceeded expectations in his QPR career to date. He hit the ground running after signing from Plymouth Argyle in May 2010, scoring eight goals in his first seven games to fire the R’s to the top of the Championship, a position that they retained all season to earn promotion.
After a horrific double leg break in January 2011, Mackie bounced back and ended up starting 24 games in the Premier League last season. A solid return of seven goals proved that Mackie was capable of mixing it in the top flight.
As the Hoops close in on the capture of Junior Hoillett, Steve Kean has said that Blackburn would be interested in taking Mackie in part-exchange, with newspaper reports suggesting a value of £3.5m had been placed on the R’s star’s head.
However a swap deal does not seem to be something that the QPR hierarchy are willing to entertain. After Mackie scored on the recent South East Asia tour, chairman Tony Fernandes stated on Twitter that QPR had no intention of selling their man.
Whilst this news will be warmly welcomed by the majority of QPR fans, it would be interesting to know the value that Mark Hughes places on Mackie. £3.5m would be a good price for a player that is likely to be a squad player next season and only cost a reported £500k two years ago. With Hoillett, Taarabt and Park likely to be in front of Mackie in the pecking order for a start out wide, and opportunities to play in his favoured central role likely to be even more limited, it will be interesting to see what role Mark Hughes hands Mackie next season, and if it will be enough for the front man.
The arguments for keeping Mackie, at least as a squad player, are persuasive. His performances and goalscoring record in the Premier League were good for someone coming back from a serious injury and playing out of position on the wing. In addition, his popularity should not be underestimated. When QPR are behind in a game next season, Mackie may be the just the person to throw on to add some energy to the team and reignite the crowd.
Whether supersub is a role that Mackie wants to take on remains to be seen, but for me it is too early to let a man who seems to genuinely care about the club move on.
Calling all QPR fans: How much do you want Jamie Mackie to stay at Loftus Road? Do you want him to stay and fight for a first team place? How highly do you rate him? Or do you think it would be better for him personally to leave for a club that will give him first team football? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.
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