KENYA BROWN - Thursday, October 15, 2020
Charlie Kelman has moved on up from League Two to the Championship as it was announced on Wednesday that he completed a move to Queens Park Rangers.
The 18-year-old has signed a three-year contract with an option for another year in a move that sees him leave Southend United. There was no announcement on the transfer fee.
After a brief stint at the FC Dallas Academy, Kelman would head across the pond to continue his development at Southend United. On January 12, 2019, he would make his first-team debut in impressive fashion as he scored a goal from his team's own half in a 3-2 defeat to Plymouth Argyle. The following season would see him finish as the Shrimpers top goal scorer with five.
There was interest in the English-American striker, but it was QPR that maintained interest in him, and they finally got the youngster after a long period of negotiations with Southend.
"We've tracked Charlie's progress and we feel we can bring him to where he needs to be. He is a goalscorer and, at just 18, has scored goals in league football already, which alerted us," said QPR's director of football Les Ferdinand.
Ferdinand added that Kelman will first start off with the Under-23 team but they expect him to challenge first-team strikers Lyndon Dykes and Macauley Bonne later on.
"He's tasted a lot of men's football already, so he understands the game - we just need to polish him up. Hopefully, he can make the grade sooner rather than later," said the former English Premier League player.
The London-based team is excited to add Kelman to their corps of young players that they are currently developing, and the youngster expressed his excitement as he looks to take his game to the next level.
"It's exciting to be able to join a great club like QPR who also develop players," he said. "I've got a lot still to prove, but I'm excited to do that - coming in and playing with and against better players will only help me. I want to enjoy it - I love playing football and I love scoring goals. Hopefully, I can now make the step up."
Kelman is well aware that if he performs well while at QPR, it could lead to bigger things down the road.
"The way the club are developing players was a big attraction for me. You look at Ebere Eze and he's now in the Premier League playing for Crystal Palace. The club now have a track record of bringing players through and hopefully, I'm the next one on that list," he said.
Kelman will now join Geoff Cameron in London as QPR tries to push for promotion to the Premier League.