Could Ephraim be moving from Loftus road to BMO Field? - Claudio Villa
According to the player's official twitter account Hogan Ephraim is close to following former teammate Ryan Nelsen to Toronto FC.
Twitter is great for all kinds of things and one of them is being able to follow players closer than ever with the added bonus that they tend to break news a lot sooner than the club would probably like them to. One such case happened this morning with Hogan Ephraim tweeting that he is Toronto bound.
The 24 year old Englishman has been with QPR, Ryan Nelsen's former club, since 2008 but has spent a lot of that time out on loan as the club climbed up the ranks of the English league. He is a product of the West Ham academy but never made a first team appearance for them before having stints at Colchester United, Queens Park Rangers, Leeds United, Charlton Athletic, and Bristol City. He has also represented England on a number of occasions with the highest level being with the U19 team.
Ephraim has made over 100 appearances for QPR but most of them came during their days in the English Championship. Since the club was promoted to the Premiership he has struggled to find playing time making only two appearances for them and going out on loan twice. He only managed to make 13 total appearances in 2011-2012 and has not played yet this season.
With QPR buying everyone under the sun since reaching the top flight it seems that their is no place left in the squad for the 24 year old attacker so it is no surprise that he would be looking for a new club. It also should not come as a surprise if the first international signing of the Ryan Nelsen era at Toronto FC is a player who he has played alongside in the past and knows well.
The main knock on Ephraim is that despite the promise he showed while coming up in the youth ranks he has never developed into a consistent contributor on the score sheets. He has played in over 150 competitive matches during his career but only has 11 goals to show for it. That is not the best return even for someone who has played a lot of time on the wings.
He could make sense for TFC though as a possible loan signing as it is clear that the player is looking to find playing time and QPR seem willing to allow him to go out on loan once again to find that. A number of recent reports confirmed that he is eager to find a place to get some minutes and move his career forward so a loan with an option to buy at the end might make the most sense for all parties and make him a more affordable option.
Since it became clear that he was not in QPR's plans for the rest of this year having been left off their Premier League roster Ephraim has been linked to a number of different clubs in England's lower leagues but there was no mention of Toronto FC in the reports. Then Nelsen heads back to London to sort things out there and finalize his move to Toronto and suddenly it seems he is bringing a player back with him.
So how did this report come to be? Well, just read along with the twitter conversation to see.
@hayesy9 yeah pal, heading over today! How u been?— Hogan Ephraim (@HoganEphraim) February 21, 2013
It is not exactly an official confirmation that he will be playing for Toronto FC in the coming days but it does seem like it could be possible based on his twitter interactions. Combining that conversation and the facts that we do know about his connection to Nelsen, the fact that he is looking for playing time, and Toronto FC's need for players that can play on the wings and it all seems to add up. There's a lot of dot connecting involved, but the dots are definitely there to be connected.
So what do you think? Is this a player who you would like to see Toronto FC signing or are you afraid it could end up being another costly move for an Englishman like when the club brought in Richard Eckersley?