One of the Imps’ more successful loan players from last season, Mide Shodipo, has been released by Queens Park Rangers.
The 25-year-old joined on loan ahead of our trip to MK Dons in January and had a reasonable spell with the club. He started 15 times, came off the bench on five occasions, and bagged two goals. He got the only City goal as we drew 1-1 with Derby on Valentine’s Day, and then he scored a sumptuous opener as we beat Championship-bound Plymouth Argyle in April. He also chipped in with a couple of assists, one in the 2-0 victory against Cheltenham and another as we slumped to a 3-2 defeat against Morecambe.
His overall attacking input was also impressive – he managed 24 shots in his 20 matches, more than an effort a game, with a 37.5% accuracy. His crossing was equally as impressive – 26 crosses, more than one per game, with 34.6% accuracy, above average. Yes, he missed a couple of good opportunities, but I saw plenty of promise in his play. He’s a player who could easily create something from nothing, and whilst aspects of his game needed some development, I think he could be a big signing if we could secure his services. That could be much easier now he’s been released by the Hoops.
Shodipo was brought through the youth system at Loftus Road before making his first-team debut on the opening day of the 2016/17 campaign. He had loan spells with Port Vale and Colchester, playing for the latter in our 2-1 win against them in 2017/18. He had a successful loan spell with Oxford, scoring ten times from 24 starts in 20/21, then a not-so-successful one at Sheffield Wednesday. This season, he played a handful of times for his parent club before joining us, and in total, he made 44 appearances in the blue and white hoops.
Could we be in for Shodipo? My understanding is that it’s a move the player would favour, given that he felt settled here during his short spell. I understand the club would also be keen to make it happen, feeling that there’s that element of je ne sais quoi about his play, an unpredictability that we need from attacking players. He’s of an age where a move, and a good spell, could see him accrue value, and he wouldn’t need time to settle into a new squad, having spent six months with us.
Of our loan players, he’s the one I could feasibly see coming back before today, and his release by QPR undoubtedly accentuates that possibility. However, it’s certainly not a done deal – he’s been on Championship wages for some time now, and there are some clubs with better budgets who might feel an ambitious wage offer is worth the risk.