BY NICK KITUNO
Mark Warburton believes Stefan Johansen will have a major impact for Queens Park Rangers this season as they stormed to a 4-2 pre-season victory over Manchester United.
The Norway international was unveiled as the R’s latest signing prior to kick-off in west London as he joined on a three-year deal from Fulham.
Johansen joined QPR on loan from the Whites in January for the second half of last season and helped guide them to a ninth-place finish in the Championship, their highest since promotion to the Premier League in 2014. He was in attendance as his new side ran out winners against a youthful United side at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Warburton said: “I’m very pleased [with the Johansen signing]. I’ll stop pestering Stef every night now, phoning him and cajoling him – only joking in saying that – but to get that bit of business done is really pleasing, in terms of the fact that he’s a high-quality player. You saw the impact he had here last season.
“We had to get that bit of business done, [there was] some good work behind the scenes by a lot of people. It was right to get him on board, he is a high-quality player, [has a] big impact on and off the pitch and I’m really looking forward to his contribution this season.”
United arrived into west London without their usual stars, but they were off to a hot start when Jesse Lingard opened the scoring inside three minutes.
Charlie Austin struck back after seven minutes before substitute Lyndon Dykes netted twice in 15 minutes to help QPR establish control.
Trialist Moses Odubajo fired in a stunning long-range effort with his weaker foot, either side of Dykes’ double, as United substitute Anthony Elanga pulled one back for the Red Devils.
Warburton said: “I know all about Moses, I know Moses inside out. He’s a class act, on and off the field, he had a frustrating time for a couple of seasons with injury. There’s no doubting his quality, it’s just about looking at his fitness and durability, but he showed that in abundance. You saw what a talented boy he is.
“He had an outstanding game. From the first kick, to the first tackle getting in and looking on the front foot, really pleased for him. He had a really frustrating time [with injuries] but there’s no doubt there’s an outstanding athlete and an outstanding player there.”
PICTURES: KEITH GILLARD
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