BY NICK KITUNO
Mark Warburton has explained why Ebere Eze was not involved in Queens Park Rangers’ 3-0 friendly win over AFC Wimbledon amid speculation surrounding his future at the club.
The midfielder was one of several first-team players who sat in the stands at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium this afternoon as the R’s played their first game since July 22.
Eze has courted interest from a number of clubs but Warburton expects him to be in training on Monday unless something significant changes.
He said: “There’s a lot of interest in a number of [our] players, Ebere being one of them, and that’s no secret. Everyone knows what is going on.
“I felt today it was best for Ebs not to be involved, that was my decision, but as I say he is a QPR player. He will be in training on Monday as far as I am aware and we go on to Oxford [United] next week.
“Any player [that] attracts interest, there is a value on that asset. It sounds very harsh, and black-and-white, but they are assets. Balance sheet items.
“Ebere and all the boys know that. Bright [Osayi-Samuel], Ryan Manning, Luke [Amos], and all these boys know that. If an asset is sought after by another party, there is the value, pay the value, and a deal is done.
“[It’s the] same as buying a house, buying a car. Nothing is different in my mind. He’s a QPR player, you know what I think of Ebere. On and off the pitch, he’s an outstanding individual, but as I say, right now, it was the best thing in my mind for him [to not be involved] today – likewise Lee Wallace, likewise Toni Leistner, likewise the other boys.”
The Rangers boss denied the decision was made in response to any new developments surrounding his future and said he had consulted others prior to the game.
Warburton added “everyone was in agreement” it would be the right decision.
He said: “Whatever I do, as a manager, I always discuss it with my staff and discuss it with Les [Ferdinand, the director of football]. Communication is key in any football club. I will always speak about what I’m doing and why I’m doing it, but in terms of selection for myself I’ll always make it clear.
“It’s good to tell people what your thought process is. You can’t talk about an open environment and then go, ‘I’m doing this – like it or lump it’. It’s not that. You tell them why you are doing it, and it’s your thinking, and you invite opinion.
“I don’t like yes men. I like people to give good opinion and in a respectful manner. That was my choice, everyone was agreement it was the right thing to do and, as I say, I look forward to seeing him in training on Monday unless something changes.”
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