LES Ferdinand expects Charlie Kelman to be pushing for QPR’s first team “sooner rather than later” after the young striker joined the club from Southend United.

The 18-year-old has signed a three-year deal for an undisclosed fee and will initially link up with the Hoops’ Under-23 squad.

But director of football Ferdinand is convinced Kelman will be in and around the first team before too long.

He made 35 appearances and scored six goals for the Shrimpers, and Ferdinand told QPR’s website: “We’ve tracked Charlie’s progress and we feel we can bring him to where he needs to be.

“He is a goalscorer and, at just 18, has scored goals in league football already, which alerted us.

“We’ve got two good strikers at the club in Lyndon Dykes and Macauley Bonne already. Initially, Charlie will be with the Under-23s but we want him to push those two.

“He’s tasted a lot of men’s football already, so he understands the game – we just need to polish him up. Hopefully he can make the grade sooner rather than later.”