Alex Baptiste has signed for Queens Park Rangers after his contract with Middlesbrough was cancelled by mutual consent.
The defender joined Boro in the summer of 2015 from Bolton Wanderers but his career on Teesside never got going as he suffered a double leg fracture on his debut for the club in a friendly at York City.
The injury kept him out of action for almost six months and upon his return he was loaned out to Sheffield United in February 2016, scoring once in 11 appearances.
He made just one first team outing for Boro in a League Cup tie with Fulham last August before spending the rest of the season on loan at Preston North End, where he made 24 appearances, scoring three times, helping the Lancashire side finish 11th in the Championship.
The 31-year-old had featured for the Riverside Stadium club during the pre-season fixtures but has now been allowed to be reunited with Ian Holloway at Queens Park Rangers, having played under the R’s boss during his days at Blackpool, where he helped the Tangerines win promotion to the Premier League in 2010.
“Alex is one of the biggest characters I’ve worked with in my time in the game,” Holloway told the official club website.
“I know him really well and know what he can bring to our squad – so I’m delighted he’s signed and I’m looking forward to working with him again.
“He’s versatile – he can play anywhere across the back – and that was a big plus for me.”
After a disappointing 18th place finish in the Championship last season, the QPR manager will be hoping for a better return this campaign and the Hoops have got to a winning start with a 2-0 victory over last year’s play-off finalists Reading.
Baptiste, who began his career at Mansfield Town before spells at Blackpool and Bolton, has signed a two-year contract at Loftus Road and could be in line to make his debut against Northampton Town in the League Cup on Tuesday.
Here are some of the best reactions to the news:
Alex Baptiste decent signing. Used to rate him highly at Blackpool under Holloway. Injury prone but will bring experience and versatility.
— Owen (@QPRFORLIFE) August 7, 2017
— Forbsie (@Forbsie19) August 7, 2017
— Zoe Paraskeva (@zoeparaskeva13) August 7, 2017
— Jonathon Taylor (@JonathonTaylor1) August 7, 2017
Mutually terminate Baptiste contract then he joins QPR immediately on a free. Don't understand. Also have a shortage of defenders as it is
— Jack Strawberry (@BoroStrawberry) August 7, 2017
Think you'll be hard pushed to find many whom saw him play tbf. Had bad luck here. My R's mates will appreciate his work ethic. Good luck
— Jed Lyth (@jed_lyth) August 7, 2017
Baptiste signing is about where we as a club are right now. 31yr old on a free. Ollie knows him, low risk signing. Hope it works out #qpr
— Steve S (@RuislipR) August 7, 2017
Baptiste isn't necessarily a bad signing but it definitely shows where we are in terms of the hierarchy of the championship #qpr
— Daniel Williams (@dann_mule) August 7, 2017