Question marks over a player’s fitness haven’t stopped Rangers getting their man in the past, so they’re hardly likely to think twice now the man in question is Dan Shittu.
Ever keen to make messageboard-pleasing signings – Lee Cook being the prime example – Rangers have made previous attempts to get Shittu back, and now everything is in place for them to make it happen.
With plenty of experience in the Championship and higher, and having already been at QPR, on the face of it Shittu is a good short-term option to have as cover for the likes of Gorkss and Connolly.
The potential problem is that he has had hamstring trouble for some time, and hasn’t looked match fit for quite a while.
Shittu’s return might have some people misty-eyed, but given what’s at stake it’s important that any signing at this stage is able to go into the side if needed and do a good job. Other options out there are possibly better, and are certainly cheaper.
And his fitness isn’t the only concern, based on some of his performances over the last 18 months.
To put it brutally, if Shittu were a boxer I think there’d be a case for saying he’s ‘shot’. In that sense he has a point to prove, which is never a bad thing.
How much he has left might be the difference between him being a points-winner or a points-loser if called upon in some crucial matches between now and the end of the season.
So while this signing may now be popular, time will tell whether it’s a shrewd one.
If he can recapture his best form, Shittu – as every QPR fan knows – is hugely imposing in both penalty boxes and plays with his heart on his sleeve.
His appearance will also add to the feel-good factor, and that’s important at a time when Rangers need Loftus Road to be a happy rather than nervous place.
And while he may not have been at his best or fittest during four months at Millwall, he did enough for them to do everything they could to keep him beyond when his contract there expires this Friday.
The offer they made him was, for Millwall, a substantial one, but easily blown out of the water by QPR.
Shittu joined Millwall when they were struggling, and even though he was not fully match fit he improved their defence and steadied the ship prior to the excellent run they’re now having.
To get such a significant offer from a well run club with a manager who usually only has time for younger, up-and-coming players, is a big compliment.
But Millwall and QPR are very different clubs in very different situations. They also play a completely different way.
Teams have had some success against Rangers recently by looking to exploit the space behind their midfield. If that’s a regular theme during the second half of the season, the sharpness of the two centre-backs will be tested – especially if Shaun Derry misses games.
So, Shittu is a risk for Rangers. That hamstring trouble and general lack of sharpness could be a problem.
But the bottom line is that, financially, they can afford to take a chance with a player like that – as they have with Rob Hulse and others – in a way that most clubs simply can’t or won’t.