Luongo key to QPR success, says former England star
Luongo joined Rangers – where Ferdinand is Director of Football – at the end of last season following a superb campaign for Swindon Town in League One.
QPR are chasing a quick return to the EPL and Ferdinand sees Luongo as the perfect player to make that happen.
The London club paid a reported $5million to get the 22-year-old and believe his breakout season for Swindon – coupled with his heroics in January’s Asian Cup – is just the beginning.
“He’s been successful but the best is still to come,” Ferdinand told AAP.
“He’s still 22 and will get better and better. I saw a little bit of the Asian Cup and know how well he did.
“But that was just a progression of how he’d started the year with Swindon. It showed the mental pressure of stepping up a level doesn’t faze him.
“He’s always cool, calm and collected. That’s how he plays and why he has a big future ahead of him with QPR and can become a great player for Australia.”
This is not the first time Ferdinand and current QPR boss Chris Ramsay will have worked with Luongo.
They were both academy coaches at Tottenham when Luongo arrived for a trial as a 16-year-old.
While Luongo was unable to crack it at Spurs, Ferdinand always felt the playmaker had something special about him.
“I remember he (Luongo) came in at Tottenham on a trial, we had a look at him and noticed straight away how hard he worked and that he desperately wanted to learn,” Ferdinand said.
“The signs were all there that he was going to be a very good player.
“It really impressed me that he signed for Swindon when he could have stayed at Spurs.
“A lot of kids at Premier League academies think they’re too good to play in League One away from the comforts of a-state-of-the art training facility.
“But ‘Mas’ just wanted to go out and play real men’s football. His progression over the last two years has been huge. We believe he can step up another level with QPR and be a big player for us.”