Who were Steve McClaren’s first 5 QPR signings and where are they now?

Former England manager Steve McClaren was handed the reigns at QPR in 2018 following the departure of popular figure Ian Holloway.

The experienced manager’s blueprint was to implement an exciting brand of football back to the west London outfit while hoping to make a firm dent in the top-half of the Championship in the process.

Initially agreeing a two-year deal, McClaren’s tenure failed to live up to the board’s expectations and departed after less than a year in charge following a dismal run of form.

After a bright opening period of the campaign, the R’s recorded just a single victory in 15 games which came courtesy of a 3-0 triumph over Ipswich Town on Boxing day.

Here we take a look at McClaren’s first five QPR signings and where they are now…

1. Toni Leistner

The no-nonsense central defender arrived in West London in 2018 following his failure to agree a new contract with German side Union Berlin respectively.

With Rangers working under financial restrictions at the time, Leistner was identified as someone to add real leadership and aggression to the R’s back line.

McClaren’s captain became an integral component during his first season recording 45 appearances across all competitions.

Subsequently, the tough tackling defender struggled to adapt to McClaren’s predecessor Mark Warburton’s possession-based approach and quickly feel down the pecking order and departed in 2020 featuring 71 times in total for the club.

The 31-year-old is currently applying his trade in Belgium with top-division side Sint-Truiden snapping up his services for the rest of the season.

2. Angel Rangel

Swansea City legend and League Cup winner Angel Rangel swapped the Swans for McClaren’s QPR following his 11-year affiliation with the Welsh club.

Arriving as QPR’s second permanent capture of the summer, the gifted full-back wasted no time introducing himself to the Hoops faithful with a string of excellent performances.

With 374 appearances to his name during his successful time in SA1, the former Girona man featured prominently throughout McClaren’s and Warburton’s reigns adding a further 41 appearances to his impressive career tally.

The 40 year-old Spaniard announced his retirement in 2021 after suffering a ruptured Achilles against Luton Town in July 2020.

3. Geoff Cameron

QPR swopped in to land the USA international on an initial season-long loan from Championship side Stoke City before making the move permanent in the following summer in 2018.

Throughout his three seasons with the club, Cameron’s versatility, leadership and effort-levels shone through admirably with many R’s supporters grateful for his contribution to the club.

Formerly of Houston Dynamo, Cameron embarked on an emotional return back to his native America and is currently playing for MLS side FC Cincinnati.

4. Tomer Hemed

Israeli international striker Tomer Hemed played a significant part in Chris Hughton’s Brighton transformation notching a spectacular 17 goals in his debut campaign.

Having never previously played in England before, Hemed’s effortless transition from Spanish side UD Almeria caught the Championship by storm but struggled to replicate his successes in the top-flight.

McClaren identified the proven Championship goal-scorer to lead the line for his side with Hemed scoring seven goals in 27 appearances.

Hemed now applies his trade in Australia with struggling Western Sydney Wanderers.

5. Nakhi Wells

No matter what club, Nakhi Wells scores goals wherever he goes. The Bermudian international currently finds himself out-of-favor at Bristol City under Nigel Pearson’s leadership.

Wells’ natural goal-scoring instincts saw him become a favorite at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium following loan consecutive spells at the club arriving from Burnley.

His first spell saw him score nine goals in 43 appearances before improving on his tally in the following year recording an impressive 15 goals during the first-half of the season.

After forming a lethal partnership with former Rangers loanee Jordan Hugill, Wells was recalled by Burnley who sold the 31-year-old to Bristol City.

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