The phrase ‘dream debut’ came to mind when watching Ilias Chair in action for Stevenage on Saturday.
The 21-year-old midfielder moved to Broadhall Way from QPR on the final day of the January transfer window and, less than 48 hours later, he was lining up in the heart of the midfield for Dino Maamria’s side in a 1-0 win against Yeovil Town in League Two.
Alex Revell scored the winner against the Glovers but Chair was the star of the show. He ran the game from the centre of the park, impressing with his creativity and work rate while drawing comparisons with one-time Stevenage hero Luke Freeman – who ironically is now a Queens Park Rangers player.
So the gushing praise from Boro fans on Twitter should be music to the ears of QPR with Chair tipped for a bright future at Loftus Road.
Stevenage boss Dino Maamria has claimed that Ilias Chair is ‘the best player that has ever worn a Stevenage Football Club shirt’, with the 21-year-old’s loan spell drawing to a close.
Chair – who will play his final game for the club tomorrow if Boro don’t reach the play-offs – has been a revelation since arriving on loan from QPR in January, scoring six goals and laying on six assists in just 15 games.
Speaking to CometSport’s Dan Mountney ahead of Stevenage’s final game of the League Two season against Cheltenham, Maamria lauded the attacker, saying: “Ilias is the best player that has ever worn a Stevenage Football Club shirt.
“He’s probably the best player that has played in League Two.
“Put all of that aside, I see him everyday and he is a fantastic kid to work with. It is a pleasure to have him.
“If it is his last game, but he’s adamant it won’t be, we’ve got to appreciate him. Our fans have enjoyed having him, our players have enjoyed having him and I’m sure he’ll be a regular in the Championship next season.”
Maamria believes Chair’s relentlessness is what makes him such a special talent, adding: “He got kicked to death at Mansfield last weekend. He got no protection from the referee but he was so brave.
“He kept going, getting on the ball, never shied away from it and that’s the difference between a top player and an average player.
“He made things happen to score that goal, he had no right to score it. Not many players can do that but he did.”