Former Stewards Academy student signs for QPR
Education: Secondary / Thu 27th Oct 2022 at 08:29am
HARLOW’S Elijah Dixon-Bonner has joined QPR, putting pen to paper as a free agent after leaving Liverpool in the summer reports QPR.
Stewards Academy student Dixon-Bonner came through the youth system at Arsenal before joining the Reds’ academy as a 14-year-old in 2015.
The 21-year-old knows QPR boss Mick Beale from his time at Liverpool and also worked with first-team coach Neil Banfield while with the Gunners.
“I am very pleased,” he said. “When I heard QPR were interested in me I was ready. Speaking with Les [Ferdinand] and the manager, the club has big expectations and it is something I want to be involved in.
“I like to bring energy to the team, I am an attacking player but I also know the other side of the game is just as important. I am a team player and for all of us to reach our goals we all need to be together.
“We have started the season really well and I am coming in to play my part in the system. If we all play to the best of our abilities we have a good chance of achieving our goals.”
The move also means Dixon-Bonner can return to his roots and family, something which is a big draw.
“I was speaking to my family about it and we were all so excited,” he said. “I have had some great times at Liverpool but nothing beats being at home and being around familiar faces. I am already settled and that is a huge positive.”
The creative midfield man is also looking forward to working more closely with Beale, having got a glimpse into his character when he was on Merseyside.
“He is a football guru,” he said. “He is into every little detail.
“I played up a level at Liverpool and I remember being scared of him! I was a young kid and he was the big, bad boss of the 23s but, both being from the south, we could relate and we clicked straight away.
“When he spoke about the plans he has for me at QPR and how I could contribute to the squad, I was really excited.”
Banfield was an academy coach at Arsenal, and Dixon-Bonner recalls their first meeting.
“I was only young, maybe 13 or 14 and, again, I was scared!” he said. “He put on a session and he made me feel comfortable. I have got so much respect for Neil and I can’t wait to be working with him day in, day out.”
Dixon-Bonner is currently recovering from a minor hamstring strain but is excited as he looks to the future.
“The energy in the squad is amazing and the way the guys have welcomed me in has been incredible, I already feel like I have been here for ages.
“I feel really comfortable and that will help me play my football.”
R’s head coach Beale added: “I knew Elijah when he was 14 or 15 and he came to Liverpool from Arsenal. Being another lad from the south, you looked out for him and he came to train with the Under-23s when we was very young, perhaps 15 or 16.
“Last season, he was predominately with the first team at Liverpool every day and made his debut in the FA Cup at Anfield, as well as a couple more appearances after that.
“He is a very talented young boy, a London lad too and we offered him the chance to come and train with us.
“I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen. He is very similar in style to Luke Amos, in terms of being a midfielder who can break forward and has lots of energy.
“He’s got some really good experiences having been at Liverpool and Arsenal for a number of years. Now it’s an opportunity for him to come here and make his mark, which I’m sure he will do.”
cant wait to see him in a blue and white hoop shirt seen his skills on u tube super hoops