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…
Cardiff City manager Neil Harris has made a late addition to his squad with Bournemouth defender Brad Smith joining the Bluebirds on loan for the remainder of the season, as confirmed on the club website.
Smith, 25, has not played for the Premier League club this season, having been on loan at MLS club Seattle Sounders since 2018 where he made 31 appearances and helped them lift the MLS Cup, becoming the first Australian to do so.
So will Smith prove a good fit at the Cardiff City Stadium? Is he needed?
“It’s quite a good signing for Cardiff, and although many will overlook it, they shouldn’t. Neil Harris is strengthening where he feels he needs to, and this is one of the positions that he wanted more competition in.
“At left-back he’ll rival Joe Bennett to a starting place in the side which will see the full-back get his opportunity, and it could be as soon as Friday night’s game against Reading.
“Eventually, he’ll start for the Bluebirds, he’s got a wealth of experience and has shown his attacking quality that he can bring to a side from full-back and that’s something that Harris will have wanted from a new left-back.
“For all parties this is a good signing. The player will end up getting more player time whilst Cardiff need another left-back so the move makes complete sense.”
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“Brad Smith once looked to be a really promising player. A graduate of the Liverpool academy who eventually went on to play for the first-team, his career has since seen him fall right down the pecking order at Bournemouth, and now he’s dropped down into the Championship.
“He arrives in South Wales then with a point to prove. He’s spent the last two seasons on-loan at MLS side Seattle Sounders and racked up 29 league appearances last year for the club. A full international for Australia as well, the left-sided defender definitely has the potential to be a good signing.
“Cardiff fans have been crying out for any signing this month, so they’ll be happy in that regard. But the club was more in need of a midfielder. Nevertheless, Smith will play an important role in squad rotation and could even become a first-team regular if he impresses Neil Harris.
“There’s some good competition at left-back with Joe Bennett making that spot his, but Armand Traore has this month left the club, so Smith will have more chance of starting matches. I’m excited to see how Smith does though, and I feel that he could have a lot to offer Cardiff in this second-half of the season.”
“This is an interesting one.
“Full-back was an area that Cardiff looked to be lacking in with regards to strength in-depth, so you can understand their desire to add a player such as Smith to their side here.
“Whether or not he will actually be able to walk into the side ahead of someone as established Joe Bennett remains to be seen however, and it may well be the case that he will have to earn that place in the lineup, rather than automatically be given it.
“Even so, when you look at some of his past experiences, it does seem as though Smith has the ability to take that chance should it come his way, and you feel he will be determined to do just that in order to prove that he is capable of making an impact at this sort of level of football.”