Senior Sports Reporter
QUEENS Park Rangers manager, Mark Warburton, has hailed new signing, Macauley Bonne, as a “proven goalscorer.”
The 24-year-old Zimbabwe international completed his move back to the English Championship yesterday.
Bonne was unveiled as QPR’s sixth signing of the summer transfer window, in a deal that is believed to net League One side Charlton Athletic around £2 million.
The forward, who arrives with loads of potential after bagging 11 goals for relegated Charlton last season, has been handed a second chance to showcase himself in the English Championship.
QPR announced the Warrior signed a three-year deal, subject to passing a medical.
The club also have the option of extending this by a further 12 months.
Manager Warburton could not hide his joy, after landing the forward, just a few days before the transfer window closes on Monday.
QPR have been keen on the forward and had two bids rejected, in the last two weeks, before landing their target with an improved third offer yesterday.
“I am delighted to have him come on board,” Warburton told the club’s website.
“Macauley has already shown himself to be a proven goalscorer at this level, and he did it with a team in the lower half of the division.
“He can score a variety of goals, he’s young, hungry and has a lot of development potential in him.
“He will help to lighten the load for Lyndon Dykes and will certainly give us a different option up front.”
Bonne made his debut in the Championship last season and went on to score 11 goals from 33 appearances for Charlton Athletic.
He had jumped three tiers, having joined the Addicks ahead of last season, after netting 45 goals in 90 appearances for Leyton Orient in the National League.
The Zimbabwean wants to remain closer to the English Premiership with the hope of getting the attention of the big clubs.
But, the last few days, have been tense after Charlton rejected several bids from the Championship sides, including two from QPR.
Huddersfield Town, Barnsley and Swansea City were also interested in signing him.
“I am really pleased and happy it’s finally done. I can’t wait to get started now,” he said.
“The second I heard there was interest, my head was turned. I’ll easily say that — my head was turned straight away.”
Bonne told the QPR website that the club’s growing reputation, as an institution that develops young talent, was also a big attraction for him.
While his previous club Charlton suffered relegation, Bonne said he was proud of his goal tally, after jumping three divisions to land in the Championship, for the first time.
“I was thrown in and had to deal with it — there’s no thinking about it. Once you get thrown in you have to take your chance.
“You can’t waste it.
“I am happy and proud of where I have come from to get to where I am today.”
Bonne will wear jersey number 7 at QPR and he immediately spelt out his desire.
“Energy, fight, hunger and goals. I will fight for the team, I will fight for my teammates and I just can’t wait to get started,” he said.
Charlton were desperate to keep Bonne, whom they had signed for £200 000 from Leyton Orient, last year.
Charlton manager, Lee Bowyer, said they could not resist the offer from QPR.
“QPR came in and made an offer that we couldn’t refuse. He did well for us last season and got 11 goals but, looking at the bigger picture, it is the right price and the right deal for us.
“We brought Macauley in just over a year ago, we paid £200 000, it was more like a project really.
“He’s done well and improved and we got an offer that was the right offer for the club.
“We’ve done the deal for footballing reasons. Macauley now will move on and we’ll look to replace him.
“That’s going to be important, we’ll have to bring the right person in to replace him, it was definitely the right decision to let Macauley move on.
“We’ve got two weeks, with the Ipswich game called off, we’ve got two weeks to bring two strikers in.
“There isn’t loads out there and we have to pick the right ones. I believe we’ll bring players in that suit the way we want to play and will do well for us,” he told the Charlton website.
Bonne is expected to play a part in Zimbabwe’s 2021 AFCON and 2022 World Cup campaigns.