Simpson makes Orient return to boost title bid
PUBLISHED: 19:30 12 February 2019
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The former Arsenal and Queens Park Rangers forward has agreed a move to E10 until the end of the season
Jay Simpson has completed a sensational return to Leyton Orient this evening on a deal until the end of the season.
The news is a major boost for Justin Edinburgh and the O’s, who have seen their lead at the top of the National League cut recently.
After leaving MLS side Philadelphia Union at the end of 2018, Simpson asked to train at his former club in December.
Edinburgh and director of football Martin Ling allowed the 30-year-old to do so and it was the start of a January month where rumours were rife.
It was always Simpson’s intention to sign for a Football League club, but after failing to do so, he has linked up with O’s on a deal which runs until June 30 2019.
On paper it looks a great move for everyone – the Londoner can show English sides what he is capable of again and in the process hopefully help Orient win promotion.
Simpson spent two-and-a-half years in E10 previously and was overall a big hit, but he, like many, departed during the tumultuous ownership of Francesco Becchetti.
In his previous spell, the versatile forward made 99 appearances and scored 36 times, including a particular productive 2015/16 campaign where he netted 25 goals.
Now he will return and likely bring up his milestone on Saturday when Maidenhead United visit for a National League game.
With star man Josh Koroma injured, and Matt Harrold and James Alabi struggling for consistency, Simpson’s arrival is a major boost for Orient.
A player of his quality should be a success in the National League, although nothing can be guaranteed.
However, the actual feel-good factor and buzz created by his signing could be just as important as his addition during a period where nerves and tension are affecting the supporters, plus he may end up making the difference for O’s.