Niko Hamalainen will remain under contract with EFL Championship side QPR for an additional season.
The London club announced Friday they’ve picked up the option for Hamalainen’s contract until June 2021. Hamalainen recently returned to England from a season-long loan with Scottish Premiership side Kilmarnock.
The 23-year-old left back made 32 appearances in Scotland this season, registering two assists in league play. Hamalainen has struggled to feature for QPR, totaling six first-team appearances since joining the club in 2014.
He’s also went on loan spells to English lower league side Dagenham & Redbridge, as well as MLS side LAFC.
Eligible to represent both the U.S. Men’s National Team and Finland, Hamalainen will have a decision to make regarding his international future. Mainly he’s played for Finland’s Youth National Teams before earning his first senior cap in Jan. 2019 in a friendly against Estonia.
He was also rewarded by U.S. Under-23 Men’s National Team head coach Jason Kreis back in Aug. 2019, being called up to an American team for the first time at any level.
A talented and versatile left back, Hamalainen will have a major decision to make over the summer with the 2020 European Championships pushed to 2021. Finland qualified for the summer tournament for the first time in the country’s history after posting a 6-0-4 record during qualifying.
Hamalainen may find it tough representing the USMNT with several talented left backs in the system. Should he stay with QPR for the 2020-21 season and impress, the defender could move his way into a first-ever senior call-up for the USMNT.
QPR remains in league play, forcing Hamalainen to take part in training sessions only.