'Massive club' - Canaries left-back seals Championship loan
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Sam McCallum has joined Queens Park Rangers as he continues his development away from Norwich City with a second Championship loan spell.
The left-back turns 21 in September and still has three years remaining on his contract at City but has only made one appearance since joining from Coventry in January 2020.
That was a deal reportedly worth up to £3.5million in total if add-ons are activated but he has remained with the Sky Blues on loan for much of the last 18 months.
With the season-long loan confirmed, QPR manager Mark Warburton told his club's website: “I am really pleased we have been able to bring Sam in.
“He showed his undoubted quality in the Championship last season with Coventry. He brings real ability and will add competition to the squad which is so important.
“He also understands the wing-back role, he has an attacking instinct, great physicality and is aerially very strong as well.
“Sam is a player who can have an impact in both boxes, and I am looking forward to working with him.”
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McCallum featured for City during pre-season last year and started the 3-1 defeat at Luton in the League Cup first round but was sent out on loan again following the arrival of Xavi Quintilla on loan from Villarreal.
The subsequent signing of Greece international Dimitris Giannoulis means the Canaries believe the youngster is best served by playing for a Championship club striving to be in the promotion mix this season.
QPR boss Warburton is hoping that is what he can offer after a strong second half of last season left the Rs ninth and nine points adrift of the play-offs, winning 15 of their last 24 games and trying to implement a more attractive style of play.
McCallum was a regular starter for Coventry last season, mostly operating as a left wing-back and claiming a goal and three assists in 41 games as Mark Robins steered his promoted squad to mid-table safety mostly using a 3-4-3 or 3-5-2 formation.
The wide man, also speaking to his new club's website, said: “When QPR requested the loan it was straight away a no-brainer. This is a massive club.”
He added: “I am quite an athletic wing-back, obviously you need to be these days. I like getting up and down the wing, and providing width for the team.”
QPR enjoyed their success after a switch to similar systems after Christmas, including holding eventual champions Norwich to a 1-1 draw at Carrow Road.
During the first half of the season it was Finland international Niko Hamaleinen filling the left-back role but Lee Wallace mostly took over once that became a wing-back slot, with the 33-year-old Scot often wearing the captain’s armband and signing a new one-year deal.
West London Sport report that the loan follows the Rs' failure to agree a fee with Dutch club Fortuna Sittard for former Brighton left-back George Cox.
McCallum concluded: “I want to get some game time but I know I will have healthy competition here from Lee Wallace.
“I am fit and ready to go – I just can’t wait to get started.”
Canaries loans manager Neil Adams spoke about McCallum's situation in May.
“Sam has done excellently and we hope now that he goes on and continues on his pathway again," Adams told City's website.
"These decisions are difficult because not only has he done well at that level, we have been promoted to the Premier League.
"So, maybe, decisions for players to come back and play for us is a lot more difficult now because we are not in the Championship anymore and that does affect it."
It’s believed Norwich are hoping that Sam Byram will recover from his injury problems to provide cover and competition for Giannoulis, with Bali Mumba also able to play on the left and midfielder Jacob Sorensen also providing cover last season.
City U23 left-back Rob Nizet is believed to be close to returning to Belgium with Sporting Charleroi, with Sean Stewart having impressed with the U18s last season to earn a couple of Northern Ireland U21 caps in friendlies this summer.