SWINDON Town deputy manager Tommy Wright said the club are in talks with Arsenal over a possible early return to Emirates Stadium for midfielder Matt Smith.
The 20-year-old playmaker arrived at County Ground on a one-season loan deal this summer and was an early contender for the Adver Sport Player of the Year award with his confident assists. and its superb technical capabilities.
Yet after John Sheridan revealed that Town was considering sending Smith back to north London earlier, many fans wondered why Swindon’s boss would be getting rid of one of the club’s most notable players.
Wright has not confirmed Smith will definitely return to Arsenal, but the 56-year-old has suggested it would be a “footballing decision” if the transfer is confirmed before the 11pm deadline on Monday night.
Wright said: “I don’t know at the moment where his future lies, but I think we are in talks with Arsenal about his future. There is no final decision yet.
“It would be a footballing decision if that happened. It really has to do with loans. We probably need more players in different areas than the midfielder.
“Matt has been great here, and I’ll be sad to see him go if he goes. If he goes, I think it will be a loss, but sometimes it has to be done.
“We may be looking to bring in another lender at Matt’s expense. But we will seek to get someone on a permanent deal if something comes up as well.
“We are trying to improve the team and enrich it because with the position we are in we need help.”
After Town’s 1-0 loss to Hull City on Saturday, Wright also opened up about Jonny Smith and Tyler Smith’s future.
A former winger, Jonny was called back to parent club Bristol City on Friday before making a permanent move to Burton Albion later that day.
Meanwhile, Sheffield United striker Tyler Smith was the subject of an unsuccessful transfer offer from an anonymous club before the Blades refused and chose to make sure the 21-year-old passed the rest of the season at County Ground.
Wright explained, “Jonny came to see us and said he wanted to play more regularly. Burton made a standing offer for him anyway, so Bristol City called him back.
“We couldn’t have done anything about it. Jonny wanted to play, and it was a permanent contract for Bristol City.
“There was a request from another club who wanted to sign Tyler permanently, but Sheffield United didn’t want to, so he had to come back here.”