The Sunderland player recently moved away on loan until the summer.
The 20-year-old midfielder is yet to make his debut for Sam Allardyce’s side but he has played 50 times for their under-21s, scoring four goals and providing four assists in the process.
Equally comfortable as an attacking midfielder or in a holding role, Smith’s versatility could ultimately come in very useful for Sunderland managers of the future, but it could be a while before he is knocking on Allardyce’s door asking for a chance.
Smith will spend the rest of this season on loan with League Two side Carlisle United, for whom he made his debut last week, and he admitted to the Echo that under-21 football is not a patch on the fourth tier of English football.
“I’m a local lad, a Sunderland fan, and to play for them in the under-21s is important, but that (League Two) is miles ahead,” he said.
“It’s a big step and I hope I can live up to it. I want to play as high as possible but I have to show I can handle it at this level.”
Sunderland have some exciting young players coming through the ranks but while they are embroiled in a relegation battle it is up to the senior stars to pull them through.
Next season could see Allardyce give more prospects a chance and how Smith does over the next few months could determine what the next campaign has in store.