Why did Loic Remy choose QPR over Newcastle United?
At the weekend QPR boss Harry Redknapp conceded defeat in his pursuit of Rennes striker Loic Remy. The Frenchman had refused to meet with the R's boss, leaving Newcastle United in pole position for his signature. On Sunday it was reported that Remy was on his way to Tyneside to tie up the deal, but the 26-year-old never arrived. It soon became clear why.
Harry Redknapp waved a lucrative contract under the Frenchman's nose and Remy, like a sweet-toothed youngster in a pick and mix ailse, simply couldn't resist. But was it all down to money? Most probably, but QPR do have a number of other advantages over Newcastle.
Firstly, QPR are based in the capital so he will never be bored with a wealth of top notch attractions, theatres and restaurants to visit. However, that is nothing compared to Newcastle's Bigg Market on a Saturday night. Now that is pure entertainment!
London is also only a Eurostar away from his homeland and generally a much warmer climate than Newcastle.
However, Remy is a professional footballer so his decision should have come down to on the field matters.
Both QPR and Newcastle are struggling this season but it's the R's who are in real trouble. They have sat in the bottom three all season. They have only recently shown any sign of life, but they are five points adrift of safety and seven points behind Newcastle.
So does Remy think that QPR have a better chance of survival than Newcastle? Alan Pardew could have offered him European football this season and the fans in the Gallowgate End would have worshipped their new star striker. Say what you want about Newcastle fans but they are a loyal breed and consistently get 50,000 through their gates on matchday.
But what can QPR offer him? Well, Redknapp is one of the best man-motivators in the game and you can see in his short spell at Loftus Road that the players believe in his methods 100 per cent. He will give Remy the confidence to go out there and be a star. QPR are moving in the right direction under Tony Fernandes with a new stadium in the pipeline and ambitious plans to be playing in the Champions League. But that is very much reliant on them beating the drop this season.
Newcastle would have been a home-from-home for Remy though with no fewer than seven fellow countymen at St James' Park. At QPR he will only have Djbril Cisse, although it's widely reported that Cisse will now be allowed to leave.
Do QPR have a more talented squad than Newcastle? It's debatable. The Mags have players like Debuchy, Ben Arfa, Papiss Cisse and Cabaye while QPR have the mercurial talent of Taarabt and the passion of Mackie, Derry and Hill. Both clubs risk losing their best defenders too with Coloccini wanting to return to Argentina and Nelsen on his way to Canada.
As a player Remy looks dangerous. For a Frenchman you'd expect him to have a good strike record, but unlike the rest of his fellow countrymen Remy keeps his strike action for the pitch - not just in the summer to ruin the holidays of hard-working Brits! Remy is also blessed with strength, quick feet and bags of skill. He has the potential to leave defenders seeing stars, especially given the standard of defending in this country.
Remy has taken a huge risk in choosing QPR over Newcastle. Once the likes of Taylor, Ben Arfa and Cabaye are fit again, Newcastle should climb the table. And while I do think QPR have what it takes to avoid the drop it is going to be another nail-biting ride.
The penultimate game of the season is already looking like being a cracker as Newcastle United come to Loftus Road in a game that could potentially decide the fate of both clubs. Remy is sure to get some stick by the visiting fans, but Harry Redknapp will be hoping that Remy's goals will have pushed them out of the drop zone by then and Alan Pardew will be praying that Remy doesn't come back to haunt him.
Although Remy was Pardew's top target to replace Demba Ba, he will see this stunning U-turn as a blessing for the club and pursue other alternatives. Given his recent scouting record, the Newcastle fans should feel confident that he will unearth another gem.
Calling all QPR and Newcastle fans: What do you make of Remy's behaviour during this deal? Are QPR fans happy to have Remy at the club? Are Newcastle fans feeling aggrieved or relieved? Will Remy be a hit in the Premier League? Whatever your views, we'd love to hear from you.