This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict’ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sunderland manager Phil Parkinson wants to loan Manchester City midfielder Matt Smith, according to a report by London Football News, with the Premier League champions expected to recall the youngster from his current loan at QPR and loan him out to another club for more game time.
The 20-year-old started his career in the academy at West Brom but switched to Manchester City at the age of 14 and has since risen up through the youth ranks at Cit,y though has never made a senior appearance for them.
So would Smith be a good signing at Portman Road and is he actually needed?
“Ipswich are arguably already pretty well stocked for midfielders, with Paul Lambert having the likes of Flynn Downes, Cole Skuse, Andre Dozzell, Jon Nolan and Emyr Huws to call upon in the middle of the park for the Tractor Boys.
“However, Smith could potentially come into the side and offer something different, with the Manchester City midfielder likely to offer added quality and composure in possession, which could help Lambert’s side control matches better.
“The midfielder has found his game time limited so far this campaign during his loan spell at Queens Park Rangers, with the Championship side having multiple midfield options to call upon, and Manchester City could be keen to send him out somewhere where he will get more regular minutes.
“Smith showed with his performances whilst on loan at FC Twente last season, that he can offer a reliable presence at the heart of midfield if given a run of games, and he could help to provide an extra spark for Ipswich as they look to secure promotion this term.”
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“I could see this being a good signing for Ipswich.
“When you look at the potential Smith has shown with his recruitment by Manchester City, and the part he played in helping Twente win promotion during his loan spell in Holland last season, it does seem as though he could give Paul Lambert’s side a boost as they look to secure a return to the Championship this season.
“Indeed, with things having not really worked out at QPR during the first half of this season, you feel Smith himself will be determined to up his game in order to prove a point in the second half of the campaign, something Ipswich could benefit from.
“Add to that the fact that it appears their League One promotion rivals Sunderland also appear to be interested, and that could make this an important race for the Tractor Boys to win in the battle to return to the Championship.”
“There’s no doubting that Matt Smith is one for the future.
“His time with FC Twente was hugely impressive and a move to QPR was expected to be the making of him in the English game.
“Unfortunately that hasn’t happened.
“Ipswich Town are desperate for a player who can dictate play from a deep-lying position, and if the 20-year-old is available, Smith could be the ideal option.
“I’d imagine that he’d prefer to stay in the Championship if he can, but if he is going to drop down then the Tractor Boys would be a decent enough option.
“There’s bound to be plenty of interest and so Paul Lambert will need to offer him certain assurances to ensure he’s convinced by the project.”