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Union sign ex-Arsenal, West Brom, Hull striker Simpson

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Former Arsenal prospect Jay Simpson is landing on the shores of the U.S.A.

In a move that Philadelphia hopes will replicated Bradley Wright-Phillips’ arrival in New York, the Union have landed the 28-year-old striker from Lleyton Orient.

[ MORE: Arsenal’s Zelalem on the move? ]

Simpson was Arsenal property from 1997-2010, but only managed three League Cup appearances and two goals. He went on loan to West Brom in 2008-09, accumulating his only 13 Premier League appearances and scoring once.

The bulk of his experience has been in the Football League Championship with Hull City. He nabbed 12 goals in 78 appearances. He also played for QPR, Millwall, and most recently Leyton Orient.

From PhiladelphiaUnion.com:

“Jay brings goal-scoring prowess to our team, in addition to a valuable veteran presence, as he has demonstrated with multiple clubs in England,” said Philadelphia Union Sporting Director Earnie Stewart. “He has played at the highest levels of club soccer, including in the Premier League, and we are excited to add a forward of his quality to our squad.”

The signing comes hot on the heels of defender Giliano Wijnaldum, the brother of Liverpool attacker Georginio Wijnaldum.

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Breaking: QPR releases manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

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Following Saturday’s 1-1 draw against Nottingham Forest, Queens Park Rangers opted to make a switch at the manager position.

[ MORE: Chelsea moves atop PL after convincing win over Everton ]

The club announced that Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink will not return to coach the squad after only winning 14 of his 48 matches in charge with the Championship side. QPR currently sits 17th in the Championship table on 20 points, just six above the drop zone.

QPR didn’t reveal who would take over the club’s managerial duties in the interim, however, it’s expected that assistant manager David Oldfield will coach the team for the time being.

The 44-year-old took over at QPR midway through the 2015/16 season, and previously managed English side Burton Albion and Royal Antwerp of the Dutch second division.

“Most Promising Young Player in Finland” signs for QPR, is U.S. born

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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.

[ MORE: West Ham-Man Utd recap | Watch Rashford’s goal ]

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.

From QPR.co.uk:

“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.”

Leroy Fer joins Swansea City on loan from QPR

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QPR midfielder Leroy Fer has sealed a transfer Deadline Day move to Swansea City.

Fer, 26, has arrived at Swansea on a loan deal until the end of the season and makes the jump up from the Championship to the Premier League after spending last season in the top-flight with the R’s.

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A Dutch international, Fer shone and scored some spectacular goals for the Hoops but missed plenty of the season through injury as the west London club were relegated.

Fer has the ability to play both in a central and wide position, but he does have the unwanted record of being relegated from the Premier League in each of the the last two seasons with first Norwich City in 2013-14 and then QPR in 2014-15.

Swansea — who currently sit four points above the drop zone — will be hoping lightning doesn’t strike three times.

The acquisition of Fer, a player who has proven himself in the PL with 10 goals in 63 appearances, will soften the blow of Jonjo Shelvey‘s departure earlier in the January window to relegation rivals Newcastle United.

Southampton sign Charlie Austin in bargain transfer

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Southampton have pulled off a major transfer coup.

Charlie Austin, 26, has joined the Saints from Queens Park Rangers for a fee believed to be in the region of $6.5 million with the striker only having six months left on his deal with the R’s.

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Austin — whose remarkable rise has seen him work his way up from the semi-pro scene to the lower leagues and then enjoy a breakout first season in the Premier League last year — has signed a four-and-a-half year deal with Southampton and he will join up with his new team next week.

The man who scored 18 goals during his debut season in the PL, which culminated in a call up to the English national team last summer, has been playing for QPR in the second-tier this season but it was always likely he’d leave in the January transfer window as the club looked to cash in rather than losing Austin for nothing in the summer.

Speaking to Southampton’s website, Austin revealed why he chose to play out the prime of his career at St Mary’s.

“I’m delighted to have got it over the line so soon into January. I can’t wait to get started now. As soon as Southampton showed an interest that was the one club I wanted to go to,” Austin said. “You see the progression from when I was playing against Southampton for Swindon. For me, it was important to come to a club that’s on the up and that’s what I’ve got here.”

Austin only became a pro in 2009 and yours truly remembers marking him in a preseason friendly at Poole Town once upon a time. Memories.

With Southampton already possessing Graziano Pelle and Shane Long up front, plus Jay Rodriguez currently making his latest comeback from injury, Austin’s arrival will give Ronald Koeman plenty of options in attack but rumors have been rife that Long may be heading to Liverpool as part of Austin’s arrival.

Regardless, goals have been an issue in the PL for Southampton this season, with Pelle their top scorer on six, so adding Austin is a smart move and during his days in League One and the Championship he often scored against Saints and became somewhat of a bogey player for the South Coast club. At least now he’s on their side.

Newcastle United, Crystal Palace, West Ham United, plus more recently Chelsea, Manchester United and Tottenham, have all shown plenty of interest in the former bricklayer turned pro, but Saints have pounced to snap up the predatory striker for a bargain.