Prior to this season Matt Smith hadn’t played any competitive first-team football but by the end of the campaign he will hopefully have gained plenty of experience having represented two clubs in League One.
Smith was initially sent out on loan to Swindon Town and started well as he featured prominently, while he also contributed with two goals and three assists.
At that stage it appeared that Smith, who has an excellent passing range, was well suited to Swindon’s style of play and it seemed likely that he would remain at the club for the rest of the season.
However, the appointment of John Sheridan as manager in November had a negative impact on Smith which culminated in the midfielder losing his place in the team.
Sheridan is known for playing a more direct style of football, something which doesn’t tally well with Smith’s attributes.
Recognising the situation, Arsenal moved quickly to recall Smith from Swindon, and, on transfer deadline day, sent the 20-year-old on loan to Charlton Athletic instead.
Charlton manager Lee Bowyer has a philosophy which is more suitable for Smith’s qualities and it is hoped that the Hale End product will be able to make a major impact in the second half of the season.
Smith has already made his debut for Charlton, featuring as a substitute in the defeat to Portsmouth.
Arsenal deserve credit for acting quickly and finding Smith a new loan deal as the prospect looks to continue making progress.