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QPR striker Charlie Kelman back with Championship club after lack of action at League 1 Gillingham


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Charlie Kelman was a notable absentee for Gillingham on Saturday and is now back with parent club QPR.

The 19-year-old joined the Gills at the end of August on loan from the Championship side, with an agreement in place for the season, but the move hasn’t gone well. He’s gone back to Rangers at the request of Gillingham but the League 1 club could still bring him back if all parties are keen.

Charlie Kelman was taken off at the break against West Ham's under-21s Picture: Andy Jones
Charlie Kelman was taken off at the break against West Ham's under-21s Picture: Andy Jones

Kelman has made just five league appearances for the Gills, starting three of those, but hasn’t found the net. He was replaced at half-time on Tuesday night in the Papa John’s Trophy after failing to make an impact.

Gills boss Steve Evans has opted to use teenage first-year professional Gerald Sithole from the bench in recent weeks and Kelman was clearly frustrated at his lack of action.

“He was frustrated in not having enough game-time,” Evans admitted.

“He has gone back to QPR and we will monitor that for a week or so and see where we are. He is our player until January and I had a long chat with Mark Warburton (the QPR manager).

“He is a really good kid and I have never had a bad word with Charlie in my life. He will go back there, play a little in their B group and we will then have a fresh look at it.”

Gillingham aren’t flush with attacking options but Vadaine Oliver and John Akinde are the preferred two upfront, with Sithole offering an option from the bench.

Evans makes no apologies for Kelman’s lack of action and insists all players must earn the right to play, wherever they come from.

He said: “He is a good kid and when he goes on loan to League 1 he wants to play but one thing we say to every loan player, you have to earn the right.

“We had Dan Adshead (on loan from Norwich) sat on the bench (against Accrington on Saturday) and I was keen to put him on in the second half. He can pass it and open the door, but Jack Tucker was sensational so I wasn’t moving him.

“He (Kelman) has lacked game time and he has lacked it because the lads in this positions have been doing well. He didn’t do enough against West Ham (on Tuesday).

“We were looking to Gerald rather than Charlie and that tells you it is time for the kid to go back and refocus.

“It is not a fall-out. Mark said he if you want him to come back he will come back in.”

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