BY RICHARD CAWLEY
QPR have signed Southend United striker Charlie Kelman – with the teenager going straight into their U23 set-up.
The Championship side have not disclosed the fee for the 18-year-old, who has been capped by America at U20 level.
Kelman has been handed a three-year contract, with the option of a further 12 months in west London.
Rangers director of football Les Ferdinand told the club’s official website: “He is a goalscorer and, at just 18, has scored goals in league football already, which alerted us. We’ve got two good strikers at the club in Lyndon Dykes and Macauley Bonne already. Initially Charlie will be with the U23s, but we want him to push those two.
“He’s tasted a lot of men’s football already, so he understands the game – we just need to polish him up. Hopefully he can make the grade sooner rather than later.
“In terms of what we’re doing with developing players, I think we’ve become attractive in the sense that some players see themselves as being able to come to QPR and be given an opportunity to play in the first team.
“Everyone has seen what has happened with Ebere Eze and there is lots of excitement around Bright Osayi-Samuel and Ilias Chair now too. Bringing players through is the model we have to follow in order to be sustainable.
“Charlie is another player who we hope we can have the same impact on too.”
Kelman added: “I’ve still got a lot to prove but I’m excited to do that – coming and playing with and against better players will only help me.”
PICTURE: QPR FC
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