We don’t write a ton about QPR U-21 players signing their professional deals, but this particular prospect has an American connection.
Born in Florida, Niko Hamalainen was part of the FC Dallas set-up before moving to Europe to try his hand abroad. That’s obviously worked, as the 19-year-old has a new deal with QPR.
Hamalainen has represented Finland 12 times at the U-18 level, but is not cap-tied to the Scandinavian side. He was named the Most Promising Young Player in Finland by the country’s FA in 2015.
He made two appearances on loan to Dagenham and Redbridge of League Two this season. Digging through his Twitter, he travels back to the U.S. on occasion and it’s fair to guess he could be on the radar of U.S. Soccer.
“Niko’s a long way from home but has adapted well to the English game,” Technical Director, Chris Ramsey, told www.qpr.co.uk. “He’s already done well out on loan and has earned his contract through hard work and determination.”
I am happy to say I have signed a professional contract with QPR. I just want to Thank God for everything so far! 💙 pic.twitter.com/luJYR6uYAe
— Niko Hamalainen (@Niko_Hamalainen) April 13, 2016