Matt Smith hoping to finish the season strongly with Charlton

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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.

Jeorge Bird is the author of www.arsenalyouth.wordpress.com Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird

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C.B.

Good lad, hope he makes it. The more of our youngsters that succeed the better.

Biggles

Absolutely, with transfer funds very scarce we will have to rely upon “home grown” players like him much more in the coming years – no bad thing in itself either.

Johnny 4 Hats

In this picture he looks like the kid from family guy with the upside down face if his face was the right way up.

Geefive

Sheridan is garbage and between him and the owner, Swindon is bottoming out fast. Good on Arsenal for pulling Smith and giving him some matches to look forward to, not matches trying to bucket water out of a sinking ship.

Giuseppe Hovno

thought Lee Bowyer was in prison

Has the ship sailed on this young talent? He’s 20 now, same age as ESR, older than Saka and Martinelli, so at this age should be banging on the first team door. League One is a big step down.
Could we get a seven-figure sum for him in the summer?
I notice his middle name is ‘Gerrard’; wonder if his parents are big Liverpool fans.

Timorous Me

Saka seems like an exceptional talent, potentially a superstar, and Smith-Rowe may not be all that far behind him.

Matt Smith may not reach those levels, but it still leaves a lot of room to be a useful player.

Viv the 🐐

I think he should get a chance for us to take a look at him. I think that is the only difference. Arsenal offered those chances for Saka and even ESR in the beginning (though I thought he was not ready 1 or two years ago) and they took them. I think other players should get a chance too, though then having a squad of something of 15 U-21 players, because everyone deserves to get a chance, will not be a healthy situation. It remains: Some get chances to prove themselves, some don’t take them, and some never get the… Read more »