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Jay Simpson

Jay Simpson

By Jemma Tappenden
January 16 2009

20 year old Jay Simpson moved to West Bromwich Albion on loan from Arsenal this month (January 2009). The young striker, who can also play right wing, bagged his first goal for the Baggies in their 2-0 victory in the FA Cup 3rd round replay at Peterborough this week.

Born in Edmonton, London on 27th December 1988 Simpson was snapped up by Arsenal at the age of nine.  He featured for the Gunners at under 18 level when he was just 13 years old, and soon became a regular in Wenger’s reserve set up.  Ironically, he made his first appearance in the first team squad in October 2006, when he sat on the bench during Arsenal’s Carling Cup game against West Brom. 

In February 2007 Jay became the first player to score a hatrick at the new Emirates Stadium, during the 3-2 victory over Cardiff City in the FA Youth Cup.  But despite his flying career at youth level, Simpson moved to Millwall on loan during August 2007. 

Simpson made his debut for Millwall in the September of that year, and scored his first goal for the club 3 days later during a 3-2 defeat to Swansea City in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.  His first league goal arrived towards the end of September, in what also finished in defeat for Millwall 2-1 at Swindon Town. 

Originally on loan until January, his loan deal was extended until the end of the season.  He had scored 8 goals in 44 appearances for the club by the time his loan spell ended, and his efforts were enough to win him the PFA Fans League One player of the year award for 2008. 

Playing regular first team football was enough to convince Arsene Wenger that Simpson has a bright future with Arsenal.  He made his first team debut for the Gunners during their epic 6-0 victory over Sheffield United in the Carling Cup, and went on to score his first two senior goals during the following round of the competition at the Emirates Stadium against Wigan, where he made his first start for the club at senior level. 

He was awarded with a new contract at Arsenal on 29th December 2008, but was loaned out to West Bromwich Albion for the remainder of the season.  He made his Baggies debut on 3rd January 2009 during the 1-1 stalemate with Peterborough in the FA Cup.  His first goal for Albion ten days later helped them secure a tie against Burnley in the 4th round at the Hawthorns.

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