STEFAN Johansen has joined QPR on loan from Fulham for the rest of the season.
The 30-year-old central midfielder will add a wealth of experience to Mark Warburton’s side, having made more than 300 professional appearances in a career that has spanned his native Norway, Scotland and England.
Johansen, who captains his national side, featured regularly for Fulham as they won promotion from the Championship last term and now he is ready for a new challenge with QPR.
“Obviously I am very excited,” he said after completing the move.
“QPR is a traditional club. English football is huge back home in Norway, and we have always heard about QPR as a big club.”
Johansen says the opportunity to come and play was key for him.
“As a player you do not want to be on the bench or not playing,” he said.
“I had a lot of conversations with the gaffer here and it was him who made me come here, the way he spoke about his style of play and how he is as a person.
“You want to play your best football and you need the right manager for that. I definitely feel I can play my best football under him.”
Johansen’s immediate personal target is clear.
“Obviously I have come here to play football but I want to win games,” he said. “I watched a little bit of the game against Derby and with the way the team is playing, you deserve more points.
“We have to build that momentum.”
Warburton is equally looking forward to working with Johansen, adding: “I am delighted we have been able to bring Stefan on board.
“He has evident quality and experience on both the domestic and international stage, and is a player who has shown he can play in a deeper-lying midfield role or in a more attacking position.
“That flexibility he has is vital for us, and I must thank Fulham for their help in making this happen.”
Johansen has a reputation as a no-nonsense midfielder, but Warburton feels that can sometimes take away from the player’s other capabilities.
“Stefan is a player that, as an opposition manager, you would be wary of because you know the ability he has and the threat he can pose,” said the R’s boss.
“I have seen him first hand both in Scotland and obviously with Fulham, so I know the talent he possesses.”
In terms of Johansen’s availability for selection, Warburton said: “I know Stefan has been working hard to keep himself fit.
“With our game against Watford being moved to Monday night it gives us extra time to work with him this week, see where he is and then we can make a decision from there.”