qpr, 23-year-old joins new club after QPR departure

23-year-old joins new club after QPR departure

QPR bid farewell to Stephen Duke-McKenna this summer, and it has now been confirmed that he’s joining League Two side Harrogate Town.

QPR brought Duke-McKenna into the ranks in the summer of 2019, bringing the former Everton and Bolton Wanderers prospect in on a free transfer.

He tasted senior action away from West London on various loan spells in lower league football, then spending time in the EFL with Leyton Orient and most recently, Sutton United.

qpr, 23-year-old joins new club after QPR departure
Image courtesy of: PAUL CHILDS/REUTERS.

Duke-McKenna has played 10 times for the R’s first-team overall, with six of those outings coming this season. However, the 23-year-old will be moving on from Loftus Road this summer.

QPR confirmed his impending release last month, and now, he’s found a new club.

League Two side Harrogate Town have announced that Duke-McKenna has joined the team on a free transfer. He links up with the Sulphurites on a two-year deal as he embarks on a new chapter after leaving West London.

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qpr, 23-year-old joins new club after QPR departure

Who is this?

Best for Duke-McKenna

Duke-McKenna has had some bright moments in his EFL career to date and he found a place in the first-team setup over the first half of the 2023/24 season, starting against Blackburn Rovers in October 2023.

There were some eye-catching moments in his Sutton United loan too, managing two goals and an assist in the 4-4 draw with MK Dons on the final day.

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At 23 though, the time has come for Duke-McKenna to be playing senior football at a good level every week. He’ll get the chance to do just that with Harrogate Town and it should help him kick on and maximise his potential.

If he can hit form and maintain a starting spot with Simon Weaver’s side, it might not be long before he works his way back up the EFL.

A necessary move

QPR have shown faith in talents like Duke-McKenna over the years and while this is a good move for Duke-McKenna, it was a necessary decision by the club to move him on too.

It frees up space in the squad for Marti Cifuentes to add more fresh faces and could pave the way for some academy talents to stake a claim for a place in the team over pre-season.

Cifuentes has taken the chance to move some fringe players on this summer, freeing up space in the ranks to bring new players through this summer.

The transfer window is now open, so it might not be long before QPR start to make moves to bolster the ranks.

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