Queens Park Rangers, for the majority of the campaign, looked challenging for promotion by being in the top six or at least threatening to be there. However, a run of 11 losses in 18 games from February saw them go from being promotion hopefuls to mid-table mediocrity as they finished 11th on the points table. However, despite QPR’s season falling apart at the end, one man who stood out was the Belgian born Moroccan international, Ilias Chair. In this article, we will have a look at Chair’s performances for the West London team.
Chair scored nine goals for QPR this season in the EFL Championship, second in the squad only behind Andre Gray. Chair netted at a rate of 0.24 goals per 90, which was higher than what xG per 90 estimated (0.16). In the former, the Moroccan ranks in the top 8% for midfielders. He attempted 2.38 shots per 90, which put him in the 95th percentile and his shot accuracy stood at 35.56%. Chair also took nearly three touches per 90 in the opposition’s penalty area. Using his diminutive height of 158 cm to his advantage, he attempted nearly five dribbles per game at an astonishing success rate of 80.85%.
Chair provided five assists for QPR in this season’s EFL Championship, making him joint second with Stefan Johansen. When looking at xA, Chair slightly underperformed, having had 0.13 assists per 90 against an xA per 90 of 0.16. The Moroccan’s pass accuracy stood at a respectable 82.16%. Nearly two-thirds of his passes into the final third were successful. Chair has also made 3.17 progressive runs per 90, which ranked him in the top 6%.
Seen in the above visual is the shot map of Ilias Chair for QPR this season in the EFL Championship. Two out of his nine goals came from outside the box. Most of his shot attempts came from way outside the box, showing that he lacked the decision-making as far as the shooting was concerned. Overall, Chair took 90 shots, meaning he needed 10 shots to score a goal. Had he attempted most of his shots from inside the box or on the edge of the box, he could have had a better conversion rate.
Operating as an attacking midfielder, Chair was most influential on the left-hand side of the attacking third. The Moroccan used his diminutive height to his advantage by dribbling past opposition right-backs and had several carries into the opponents’ penalty box. He also completed 193 crosses for the West London team this season.
Chair regularly created an xT value of 1.5 or higher and even touched 3.0, occasionally. The Moroccan international produced threats from both flanks. His many passes into the penalty area generated as much threat as his normal forward passes.
Ilias Chair’s performances for QPR this season have been good enough to earn a call-up to the Moroccan national team. With the World Cup just six months away, Chair will hope that these performances continue, if not get better so that he can increase his chances of being picked up for the tournament by the Atlas Lions.