QPR forward Charlie Kelman returns with the Championship club after a lack of action in League 1 Gillingham


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 in late August on loan from the Championship side, with a deal in place for the season, but the move hasn’t gone well. He returned to Rangers at Gillingham’s request but the Ligue 1 club could still bring him back if all parties wish.

Charlie Kelman was taken out at the break against the West Ham Under-21s Photo: Andy Jones

Kelman only made five league appearances for the Gills, starting three, but couldn’t find the net. He was substituted at halftime Tuesday night at the Papa John’s Trophy after failing to create an impact.

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

“He was frustrated that he didn’t have enough playing time,” Evans admitted.

“He’s returned to QPR and we’ll be monitoring this for about a week and see where we are. He is our player until January and I had a long discussion with Mark Warburton (the manager of QPR).

“He’s a really good boy and I’ve never had a bad word with Charlie in my life. He’ll go back there, play in their Group B a bit and then we’ll have a new look at it.

Gillingham is not up to the level of attacking options, but Vadaine Oliver and John Akinde are the two favorites up front with Sithole offering an option off the bench.

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

He said: “He’s a good boy and when he’s loaned to Ligue 1 he wants to play, but one thing we say to every player on loan, you have to earn the right.

“We had Dan Adshead (on loan from Norwich) sitting on the bench (against Accrington on Saturday) and I wanted to put him in the second half. He can walk through it and open the door, but Jack Tucker was sensational so I didn’t move him.

“He (Kelman) ran out of playing time and he ran out because the guys there are doing well. He didn’t do enough against West Ham (Tuesday).

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

“It’s not a fallout. Mark said if you want him to come back he will come back.

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