Former Ipswich Town defender Tommy Smith has admitted there was never much chance of him making an official return to the club this summer.
Having found himself a free agent following a brief spell with Sunderland at the end of last season, Smith returned to Ipswich to train with the club over the course of the summer.
The defender previously made 267 appearances for the Tractor Boys between 2007 and 2018, but it seems there was never really a possibility of him adding to that tally this season.
Speaking about his brief spell training with the club in the summer, and the prospect of a permanent return to Ipswich at that point, Smith told the East Anglian Daily Times: “Ipswich let me come in and train with them, which was kind, and I still live in Ipswich as well.
“But the club were over-saturated with centre-halves when I came back. So it never really got too far, in terms of me signing for Ipswich again, because of the big numbers of defenders that they had.”
Even so, it seems Smith does still retain an interest in the progress made by Ipswich, as he went on to add: “But obviously Ipswich are going well themselves, and I wish them all the best.”
With a return to Portman Road not forthcoming, Smith instead headed elsewhere in East Anglia this summer, re-joining one of his former loan clubs, Colchester United, on a two-year deal.
Since then, Smith has made 13 appearances in all competitions for his new cub, who currently sit seventh in the League Two table.
It does seem as though it may have been a sensible decision for Smith not to return to Ipswich.
With clubs in such a difficult financial situation at the moment, it wouldn’t have made sense for Ipswich to over-recruit in one position by adding Smith to their long list of centre backs, potentially putting strain on their wage budget.
Indeed, that competition for places could have also hampered Smith’s chances of regular first-team football, something he now looks to be getting plenty of with Colchester this season.