Former Arsenal player who scored the first Emirates hat-trick released by promotion winners

Jay Simpson

Hull City have let former Arsenal youngster Jay Simpson go. What next for the 24-year-old forward?

With little football other than the Confederations Cup and the Under-21 European Championships to keep us football fans occupied for the summer the main excitement this year will surround potential transfer incomings and outgoings; for us it can be a very exciting period.

But for the players, especially those with Football League clubs, it can also be an extremely nerve-racking time; as clubs release their dreaded retained status lists.

This is when the club make the final decision on whether to keep hold of players who have options on contract terminations bound by expiry or clauses and can see vast swathes of players culled from clubs in one foul swoop.

One such team to complete this action are Hull City who made public their difficult decisions this week.

The Tigers earned promotion to the Premier League under Steve Bruce this season and now the building blocks must be set into place for top-flight survival; and that means removing some of the deadwood and those not deemed good enough for this level.

Bruce has been unforgiving in his decision making; releasing 12 players including the likes of Andy Dawson, Seyi Olofinjana and Paul McKenna; but perhaps the most eye-catching player to be let go is Jay Simpson.

At least if you are an Arsenal fan that is.

Simpson was a youth team protégé at Arsenal from the age of nine and was highly rated as one of the best talents in the youth ranks.

He can also claim to be part of Arsenal folklore. Simpson was in fact the first ever person to score a hat-trick at The Emirates stadium when he bagged all three goals in a 3-2 win over Cardiff City in the FA Youth Cup in 2007.

After a loan spell with Millwall in 2007-08 which saw him gain widespread praise he returned to Arsenal with Arsene Wenger proclaiming his belief in his future at the club; and he showed flashes of that brilliance in the League Cup. He grabbed a brace for the club against Wigan Athletic in 2008.

But he never broke into the first-team and after stints on loan at West Brom and QPR he joined Hull in 2010.

But the England youth international never really made an impact at the KC Stadium. The forward managed just 13 goals in 85 games for the club and spent the 2011-12 season out of favour. Little did he know when he limped out of the game with Cardiff City on the final day of the season that would be his last contribution as a Hull City player.

What next for Simpson?

Well he will not be short of suitors especially in the London area so should be playing at Championship level next season with Millwall a potential destination.

For Arsenal fans they will have to keep an eye out on how the career of The Emirates first hat-trick man gets on after his latest setback.

What are your memories of Jay Simpson?

image: © mattythewhite

Register for ARSENAL team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch