MATT Smith has joined QPR on a season-long loan from Manchester City.
The 19-year-old midfielder will be looking to build on a successful spell at FC Twente last term, where he was a regular in the Dutch side which won the Eerste Divisie.
Smith, who has been with the Premier League champions since the age of 14 and signed a new long-term deal three months ago, is looking forward to the 2019/20 campaign with the R’s, telling www.qpr.co.uk: “This is a fantastic opportunity for me and I can’t wait.
“I spoke to the gaffer here and the connection he has with his players is something that I really got attracted to.
“He wants a young, hungry squad and that fitted me well so I took the chance to come here with both hands.
“The way he wants to play football appealed to me. Having grown up at Man City, that style is something they instil in you so I had one conversation with the gaffer here and knew this is what I wanted from my second loan move.”
Smith, who broke into the Wales side last year, also believes the nature of Championship football will be beneficial as he looks to enhance his game.
“It is a tough league and I felt I needed this for my development,” he said.
“When you go to any new club you want to be playing games. That’s why I have come here – to prove I can play at this level. I’ve got to prove it to myself and to everybody here.”
QPR boss Mark Warburton added: “I am delighted to bring Matt in.
“He is highly-regarded by many people within the game and this is an important loan for him now. He will have a real desire to play a large number of games and build his reputation.
“He spent last year on loan overseas which shows an enormous strength of character. He played 34 times in the league and impressed everyone out there, both on and off the pitch.
“He is a young player with a point to prove. He has the ability, he has the potential and I am delighted to have him here.”
Warburton believes Smith can play in a number of roles in the middle of the park, but he already has a clear picture in his mind as to how he will be used in his QPR team.
“Matt can play as a defensive midfielder or slightly more advanced,” Warburton said. “He is comfortable in both positions. I see him playing a key role in front of our back four.
“He is tenacious, he rats to get the ball, he’s very comfortable in possession, takes the ball in tight areas and has a lovely range of passing as well.
“There is always going to be competition for places and he knows that but I think he is really excited by the challenge ahead.”