Gareth Ainsworth has made his first loan signing of the summer, returning to his former club Queens Park Rangers to swoop for exciting forward Paul Smyth on a season-long loan.
The Northern Irish international becomes Ainsworth’s second capture of the summer, following the arrival of midfielder Alex Pattison on a free transfer earlier this month, and goes straight into the squad for the pre-season friendly against Brentford at Adams Park on Saturday (k.o. 3pm).
Ainsworth said: “Paul is a really clever player who I liked from the first game I saw him play for QPR, and I’m delighted that he’s become available for us to bring in to the club here.
“He’s quick, he can make things happen and he’s got a good eye for goal, so I know he’ll be a really exciting addition to our frontline and our fans will love watching him play.
“Our excellent relationship with QPR is no secret and I’d like to thank Mark Warburton and everyone else who’s helped to make this happen. We have a proud history of bringing in young talent on loan, nurturing them on and off the pitch, and helping to develop their careers, and I hope Paul is another success story over the next 10 months.”
Smyth, aged 21, arrived at QPR from Linfield in his home country, where he played Europa League and Champions League football before switching to West London.
He made an instant impression at Loftus Road, coming off the bench to net the winner on his EFL debut against Cardiff City, and went on to repeat the feat for his country, marking his first senior cap with the winning goal in a friendly with South Korea.
Smyth earned the Supporters’ Young Player of the Year award in 2017/18 and spent the second half of last season on loan at Accrington, scoring at Adams Park in an impressive display in their 3-1 victory in March, as well as finding the net at Sunderland and Doncaster.
He’ll wear squad number 17 during his time with the Chairboys.