Queens Park Rangers sign Paul Smyth from Linfield
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Northern Ireland under-21 international arrives for undisclosed fee after agreeing two-year deal
Queens Park Rangers have signed striker Paul Smyth from Danske Bank Premiership side Linfield for an undisclosed fee.
The Northern Ireland under-21 international moves to Loftus Road after agreeing a two-year deal with QPR.
Smyth will feature for the west Londoners’ Elite Development Squad in the early part of his Rs career, and the 19-year-old is excited to continue his development with the Championship club.
“It’s a dream come true – it doesn’t get much better than this!” he told the club website.
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“I’ve always had a soft spot for QPR – back in the Charlie Austin and Bobby Zamora days especially. They’re two strikers I admire greatly.
“It’s a great club and I’ve been made to feel really welcome.”
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“I know this is a massive step up for me, but it’s one I’m relishing. I’m hungry to do well here.
“I’ll get my head down, work hard and hopefully do enough to impress the manager.
“I’ve always set myself high expectations and that won’t ever change.”
Smyth completed his medical at QPR on Monday before the deal was finalised on Tuesday.
The teenager has scored regularly for Linfield in the Danske Bank Premiership over the past season, with that form earning him regularly call-ups to the Northern Ireland under-21 squad, for who Smyth has appeared four times, netting once.
Though yet to be called up to the senior international team, Smyth was invited by Northern Ireland boss Michael O’Neill to join the squad at Euro 2016 to give the youngster experience.
It shows the potential Smyth has, and QPR director of football Les Ferdinand was pleased the west Londoners were able to secure the prospect’s signature.
“We’re really pleased to bring him to Rangers, because there was a lot of interest in him from a number of clubs,” Ferdinand told the club website.
“He’ll initially be with our Elite Development Squad group. But we feel that he’s capable of pushing for a place in and around the first team.
“Ian Holloway has shown already this season that he’s willing to give youngsters a chance, which is what Paul should be striving for.”
After completing his medical, Smyth returned to the Northern Ireland under-21 squad.