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'We've kept a close eye on Ryan': Ireland midfielder Manning could return to QPR

Ryan Manning has scored four goals in 15 appearances with Rotherham this season on loan from QPR.

Manning has been a regular in the Ireland U21s over recent seasons.
Manning has been a regular in the Ireland U21s over recent seasons.
Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

FOLLOWING A SUCCESSFUL loan spell with Rotherham United this year, Ireland underage prospect Ryan Manning could be on his way back to parent club QPR.

The Galway-born midfielder has impressed manager Steve McClaren while away from Loftus Road and has become a fans favourite at Rotherham, where he is team-mates with Richie Towell.

Manning joined QPR from Galway United in 2015, making 37 appearances during his first two seasons in London, before being loaned out to get first-team minutes in the midst of the club’s current transfer ban.

The 22-year-old has scored four goals in 15 games so far this season, with McClaren saying that there was “certainly” a chance that the player would return to Loftus Road in January.

“There’s a long way between now and January and things can happen. We’ve kept a close eye on Ryan,” the QPR manager said this week.

“I know he’s enjoying playing and he’s progressing and getting that experience. It’s definitely not out of the question that Ryan might come back and that would also depend on him. So nearer the time we’ll have that conversation.”

Rotherham United v Bristol City - Sky Bet Championship - AESSEAL New York Stadium Manning in action against Bristol City's Niclas Eliasson. Source: Richard Sellers

Manning has been a regular in Noel King’s Ireland U21 sides in the last two years and was a star performer during a European Championships qualifier win against Azerbaijan at the end of March.

The midfielder was named man-of-the-match on his Rotherham debut against Hull City in August and his recent form could cut his season-long loan deal short, with QPR currently 10th in the Championship table following a stop-start first half to the season.

“In the first two weeks of pre-season I said to Les [Ferdinand] ‘wow, he’s a good player’,” added McClaren.

“He dipped a little bit after that and honestly it’s very difficult because he had the likes of Josh Scowen, Massimo Luongo, Luke Freeman and Ebere Eze and the other players coming through — it was difficult for him to get regular games.

“He’s getting that now which is vital experience and I said to Ryan when he left ‘this is short term; you’re a future QPR player – go and get some experience and when you come back you’ll be better for it.’”

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Aaron Gallagher

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