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Michael Beale’s QPR snap up Chelsea free agent Jake Clarke-Salter

Good luck, JCS!

Chelsea v Peterborough United: Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Darren Walsh/Chelsea FC via Getty Images

Jake Clarke-Salter was released by Chelsea at the end of the season after a long association with the club through the youth ranks (from age 8), the Academy, and the Loan Army, but the 24-year-old did not have to wait long before finding new employers. And he’s not going very far either, just down the road, to Loftus Road.

Yesterday, Queens Park Rangers announced the signing of Clarke-Salter, their first new arrival of the summer, and the first signing for new manager Michael Beale. Beale was most recently assistant at Aston Villa, but made his name in youth coaching with Liverpool and Chelsea, getting his start with the Blues in 2002 — before leaving a decade later, frustrated by the lack of pathways into the first-team for promising talents like Clarke-Salter.

Clarke-Salter did make his professional debut with Chelsea, a 16-minute stint at the tail end of the 2015-16 season, and would add another substitute appearance a couple seasons later, but emblematically of Beale’s (and many others’ over the years) frustrations, he would spend the next six years bouncing about from loan to loan, mostly in the Championship, with the occasional preseason back with us, like last summer. He spent last season at Coventry City, finishing midtable, two points behind his new team.

“I am over the moon. It’s a permanent deal and it’s time for me to settle down and progress in my career. It’s totally different to a loan move because this is my home and I am fully focused on doing great things with this club.

“This is a big step for me and one I am totally ready for.”

-Jake Clarke-Salter; source: QPR FC

QPR have been stuck in the Championship since their relegation in 2015, but maybe with a bit of Chelsea flavor, they can make a run at promotion soon.