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Gillingham defenders glad to have QPR striker Charlie Kelman on loan says boss Steve Evans

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Gillingham boss Steve Evans says he consulted his defenders about signing striker Charlie Kelman and they were keen to get him onboard.

Max Ehmer and Jack Tucker faced the youngster at Roots Hall in February, 2020 during a League 1 match at Southend United. Gills won the game 1-0 thanks to Connor Ogilvie’s second-half header with keeper Jack Bonham denying Kelman with a good save moments earlier.

Charlie Kelman deal gets the thumbs up from Gillingham defender
Charlie Kelman deal gets the thumbs up from Gillingham defender

Later that year Kelman moved to QPR for an undisclosed fee after scoring six league goals in 16 starts for a struggling side.

Evans remembered the impression Kelman made on him.

He said: “He was outstanding against us when Connor Ogilvie scored.

“He is a young player, very talented, they think the world of him, we had to be patient, it was wholly reliant on Andre Gray going there to Rangers (joining on loan from Watford on transfer deadline day). It gave enough comfort for Les Ferdinand, the sporting director there, to allow Charlie to come in.”

Evans said the player had five options in League 1 and spoke to three managers before choosing Gillingham. The 19-year-old has agreed a deal for the remainder of the season.

“I was absolutely delighted when Charlie phoned me to say we were his choice,” Evans said.

“It was nice that a young professional has taken the advice of Les and Mark Warburton (QPR manager) and not to be making a deadline drama of it, to make his decision and we are delighted to get him.

“We are not making him out to be something he isn’t, he is a striker that has got a good future at QPR and we have always liked him, I certainly spoke to some of my defenders who remember playing against him and they said, 'absolutely, a no brainer' straight away.

“He is hard working, will run in behind and he will mix it up.”

Evans must now decide whether to give Kelman a run-out against Colchester United in the EFL Trophy tomorrow (Tuesday) night or save him for the weekend trip to Burton Albion in League 1.

More on the Gills;

Boss now hoping to see the best of John Akinde

Double FA charge for Gillingham after brawl

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