Reports have previously emerged suggesting that David Moyes is planning a clear-out in East London this summer which could include both Aaron Cresswell and Arthur Masuaku. If the Scot is to show both left back’s the exit door, then it is only logical to have alternatives lined up to take their places, and one name which has been suggested is Queens Park Rangers’, Ryan Manning.
In the Championship this term the 24-year-old has been scintillating after being converted to a defender by manager Mark Warburton. The Irishman has provided an attacking outlet with his bursts forwards down the left channel, and only Eberechi Eze and Bright Samuel have provided more assists than Manning’s seven this term.
Despite being dropped back into the defence, the former midfielder has retained his eye for goal, scoring three for the R’s. His form in the second tier certainly suggests he would add attacking impetus to the Iron’s left flank, as Masuaku and Cresswell have contributed just three goals and an assist between them in the Premier League this season.
Given he has previously operated as a midfielder, it is perhaps to be expected that Manning would bolster QPR’s attack, but what has been more surprising is the seamless adaptation to the art of defending. In the second tier this campaign he has averaged two tackles per match and 1.4 interceptions, making him an adept ball winner and the third most successful tackler in Warburton’s squad this season.
In January West Ham snatched one of the Championship’s gems in Jarrod Bowen, and the Englishman has been thriving since making the transition to the Premier League, with three assists and one goal in ten matches. Picking off the best the second division has to offer could prove to be an effective strategy at the London Stadium and given Manning is rated at a meagre £2.16m (Transfermark), he could provide outstanding value as well.
Norwich City and Watford are said to also be interested in the 24-year-old, but it would be worth beating off the competition to secure his signature, even if just as a development prospect. Manning has strutted his stuff in defence this term and has been relishing the new role, and there is every chance he could emulate Bowen’s switch and become a success in the Premier League.