Amos move made permanent – Signing
Monday, 17th Aug 2020 15:00 by Clive Whittingham
Despite a pretty uninspiring spell on loan during 2019/20, QPR have today moved to make Luke Amos’ move from Tottenham permanent for a fee that could eventually rise to £1m.
Luke Amos is a 23-year-old, five foot ten inch-tall, central midfielder of Nigerian descent from Welwyn Garden City. He likes John Grisham novels, walks in the park on crisp autumn mornings, and men who aren’t afraid to cry. GSOH.
He was picked up by Tottenham’s academy from Ware Youth at the age of just nine and progressed right the way through the ranks there to a first team debut as a substitute for Eric Dier at Newcastle on the opening day of the 2018/19 season. Along the way he made two starts and a sub appearance during a half season loan at League Two Southend United in 2016/17, during which he combined his time with playing for Spurs’ U23 side. He made 14 starts and two sub appearances for Stevenage in the same division in the second half of 2017/18, scoring two goals against Yeovil H and Port Vale A. And he also won two caps for the England U18 side.
Unfortunately his Spurs senior debut was quickly followed by a cruciate knee ligament explosion in an U23 fixture against Blackburn. He sat out the rest of 2018/19 and was then loaned to QPR for the whole of 2019/20 as part of his recovery. While with Rangers he made 26 starts and nine sub appearances (W8 D8 L16), scoring two goals in a 5-3 defeat at Barnsley in December.
That was enough for QPR to spend £500k up front that could eventually rise to £1m depending on numerous conditions being met to bring the player to Loftus Road permanently on a three year contract. Spurs have a 40% sell on clause in any future transfer.
QPR 2019/20 numbers:
"Last year, I came here on loan, played games and really enjoyed the opportunity that the gaffer gave me. For him to bring me back and to be here for another three years – I’m really looking forward to pushing on and doing well. It’s an amazing group here, I’ve made some really good friends – as soon as I arrived, I was made to feel very welcome. Having a good group and the opportunity to play is all you can really ask for. I think last year was about getting used to the level. Now that my injury is behind me and a year of Championship football is, too, I think I can kick on and show everyone what I can do. I don’t think I showed half of what I am capable of last year. Hopefully I can impress everyone this season – I’m excited to get going.” -Luke Amos
“Luke got over a nasty knee injury to play 35 games for us last season and we saw him getting stronger and more confident as the campaign progressed. I believe he can thrive and really kick on from here. He plays and trains with a real intensity, he has a hunger to win and a desire to learn. He has a real passion for the game. With those fantastic traits Luke has enormous potential.” -Warbs Warburton
“If the report is correct then the price is very decent in these times of highly inflated prices. Warbs can get the best out of many a player. Look at what has been achieved with Dom Ball. What would you sell him for now? Amos does have potential. Pochettino thought highly enough of him to include him in the spurs match day squad away at Newcastle at the start of the 18-19 season before he blew his knee. That’s good enough for me. And don’t forget we blew just as much on Sean Goss and Amos is far superior.” - DWQPR
“That’s not that bad a deal. I didn’t think he was remotely good enough last year, certainly not first team championship centre midfielder level. I didn’t want us to sign him if a fee was involved. However, if the fee is a few hundred thousand only, rising to £1m based on all sorts of performance/appearance related clauses and or sell on potential, it’s not a bad deal. If he turns out to not improve, the cost was very limited. If he turns out to improve significantly, £1m total is a decent price for a young central midfielder who is a very saleable asset. Do I think he is that asset now? No. Not at all. But for such a low up front fee, it’s a bit of a shot to nothing.” -HunterHoop
“I'm not an Amos fan - I question both his application and ability, and can't understand why Warbs worryingly seems to over-rate/praise him. Not a player who's likely to help move us up the table to any appreciable altitude. Poor tackler, safety first passer, goal-shy - unless I'm missing something, what, exactly, do he bring to the party? We could and should be aiming higher.” -Stainrod’s Elbow
“If this happens, and I would expect it to as he is said to be training with us, I will be a lot happier with Amos signing than I was a year ago with Cameron signing.” - TerryB
You won’t have had to read too many LFW match reports last season to know I wasn’t overly impressed with Luke Amos’ input – graded C/D in our end of term report. Too lightweight, too timid, too nice, the epitome of the sort of boy the modern day academy system belches out in their early 20s having never played any proper football, completely unsuited physically and mentally to the men’s game. He had that latter days Jermaine Jenas ability to always be at least ten yards away from anything that happened. Where others had the best goalscoring years of their careers in Warburton’s system, the sort of late arrival in the box to score which we’d seen from Amos in the pre-season friendly at Oxford happened on only one other occasion, for two goals in the heavy defeat at Barnsley. There were times when I felt I had more affect on games from the front of F Block than he did on the field – zero assists from centre midfield in a team that scored for fun.
Warburton regularly publicly praised the player, citing him as an example of the level you need to reach at a Premier League club for our own boys to aspire to, talking about his “academy education” in the positive rather than negative, often picking him out post-match in games I’d barely noticed him in. At the time I assumed this was mere man management, giving encouragement and backing to a young, fragile, struggling player amidst a growing tide of social media criticism. The best you could really offer was that Amos’ position on the field and role in the team, taking the ball off the defence on the half turn and recycling it either to spread full backs or attacking midfielders further on, isn’t the sort of work that stands out unless you do it badly, as we saw with Josh Scowen. And he was one of the few who played reasonably well during the lockdown games, albeit even then letting himself down with a powderpuff tackle attempt for the second West Brom goal on the final night of the campaign. And yet here we are spending what little money we have to bring him in permanently. So what gives?
Well, potentially, two things. The first is that Amos was not only playing at Championship level for the first time in his career last season, but he was doing it on the immediate back of sitting out a full season with a nasty ACL injury. We’ve seen countless times, with some of our best players down the years, how long those things take to recover from and how you’re often not the same player when you do eventually come back and get up to speed – Gallen, Langley, Carlisle, Rowlands, Faurlin… Making 26 starts and nine sub appearances at the new higher level, immediately after the injury, in a tough team to play for, and holding his own, was something of an achievement in itself.
The second is his age and appearances. In our constant criticism of the EPPP academy system we constantly bang on about how players noticeably improve and grow as their first team appearances go through the 50, 100 and 150 mark. We’ve seen that most starkly with Ebere Eze, written off by many as lazy and ineffectual around the 50-60 appearance mark, but now rated as one of the outstanding talents outside the Premier League at the 130 apps point. Bright Osayi-Samuel another who really exploded into life from promising beginnings around the same time in his career (now 90 starts and 81 sub apps). We’re seeing similar progression with Ilias Chair (54 starts, 23 sub apps) and the club are banking on similar with Amos who has made just 44 starts and 13 sub appearances at senior level.
It would be a shame to put the groundwork in with Amos, persevering through mediocre performances as he recovered from injury and got another 30 games in the tank, not to then reap any benefits that he gets from that down the line. We’ve seen at Fulham in the latter part of this season Josh Onomah (66 starts, 55 sub apps) suddenly blossom from player not quite fulfilling potential into the driving force of their team. If Amos does similar as he goes through the 100 and 150 appearance marks over the next couple of seasons then QPR have potentially got a player Mauricio Pochettino at one stage believed was good enough for Spurs’ first team, at age just 23 with loads of potential resell time and value, for less than £1m in the current crazy transfer market, within our wage structure, on a three year contract (almost certainly with option for a fourth on the club’s side). We could also have just wasted what little budget we have on a kid who’s already shown himself to not be quite good enough and has already blown his knee out once.
Ask me again when he’s played 150 times.
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