After 17 years, countless loans, multiple accolades, a few key injuries, and one Champions League final trip, former Chelsea youth prospect and captain Todd Kane ended his association with the club earlier this summer by opting to not sign a new contract. Instead, the 25-year-old decided to test the market and today, has landed himself a three-year contract with nearby QPR.
The R’s confirmed the move on their website, with new manager Mark Warburton, formerly of also nearby Brentford and one of the key men behind the NextGen Series, which prompted UEFA to create the U19 Youth League, expressing his delight at the arrival of the marauding full back.
“Todd is a player who I’ve watched right throughout the academy system. He joined Chelsea at a young age and I watched his performances for Hull last season, where he showed his qualities as an attack-minded and technically-gifted full-back. He has a real desire to play the game with intensity, so we’re delighted to see him join us.”
-Mark Warburton; source: QPR FC
Like many of our favorite youth prospects, Kane joined Chelsea at the under-8 level just after the turn of the millennium, but despite excelling and impressing at every level and even joining the traveling squad for the 2012 Champions League final in Munich as reward for winning the FA Youth Cup, he never quite managed to get over the hurdle of the Chelsea first-team.
The closest he came was probably in 2016, when he looked likely to leverage an excellent season on loan at NEC Nijmegen into a squad spot under incoming head coach Antonio Conte. But Kane suffered a torn ACL on the final day of the Eredivisie season, spent the next season on the sidelines and was still feeling the effects two seasons later, as it often tends to be the case with that terrible injury. (Meanwhile, Conte repurposed Victor Moses as a marauding right wing-back. One can only speculate how well Kane could’ve fit that role at least as a backup or rotational option.)
A True Blue through and through, Kane once would’ve been happy to sign a 10-year contract with Chelsea. Alas, football is a harsh business sometimes.
Kane will be turning 26 in September and is coming off of a solid season on loan at Hull City in the Championship. He previously spent time at Preston North End, Blackburn Rovers, Bristol City, Nottingham Forest, NEC Nijmegen, Groningen, and Oxford United.
At QPR, he will be expected to replace Darnell Furlong, who moved to Championship promotion hopefuls West Brom earlier in the week. QPR finished towards the other end of the second division table last season and will be looking to improve on that.
Good luck, Todd!