Leyton Orient Winger Set For Championship Switch

QPR look set to sign winger Paul Smyth from Leyton Orient following the expiration of his contract at Brisbane Road, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke of Football Insider.

Smyth would be a familiar face at Loftus Road, having only left the R’s to join Leyton Orient in 2021. The winger is now strongly linked with a move back to QPR following a very successful season for both Smyth and Leyton Orient.

The 25-year-old made 38 appearances for the Orient, starting on 34 occasions last season. Smyth would provide ten goals and three assists during the 2022/23 season, his goal contributions greatly helping the O’s on their way to the League Two title.

This will be Orient’s first season back in the third tier since 2015, but Smyth does not seem to be in the plans for next year. With his contract running out at the end of the month, he will be leaving Brisbane Road on a high note and now looks set to be linking up with one of his former clubs.

Who is Paul Smyth?

The Northern Ireland international would begin his career with Linfield before joining QPR in 2017. He would be at Loftus Road for four seasons, but would gain experience in the lower leagues through loans to Accrington Stanley, Wycombe, and Charlton. In total, Smyth made just 19 appearances for the R’s and would join Leyton Orient in 2021. The winger’s best and most consistent season to date was the 2022/23 season where he helped Orient to the League Two title. Coming off the back of a successful season, Smyth will want to impress at his next club and he may have some unfinished business if he does return to QPR.

QPR have currently not made a single signing this transfer window, and Hoops fans are certainly starting to get worried. Coming off of the back of a season which saw the club finish in 20th, having been top of the table in October, shows that they are very much in need of a rebuild. That rebuild under new manager Gareth Ainsworth is yet to really begin, with the R’s being very quiet in the window thus far.

In addition, they have also lost a string of high profile names, which doesn’t bode well given no replacements have been sourced as of yet. Smyth would give QPR fans something to talk about, but he’s hardly an inspiring signing given he left the club to join Leyton Orient two seasons ago. The winger would be used as a rotational player but you have to think that the R’s will also want to bring a couple more high profile forwards in this summer.

Writer’s view

Smyth is certainly a good player, but there’s a real question as to whether he can make the step-up to the Championship. QPR fans will no doubt be nervy going into the season if some new names are not brought in soon and if not then they could be one of the candidates for relegation. Ainsworth has obviously been brought in with a long-term plan so it is too early to judge just yet, but the departures and lack of signings are worrying.

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