It’s fair to say the 2016/17 season didn’t quite go to plan for 21-year-old Newcastle United midfielder Liam Smith.
The South Shield’s born talent, who graduated from The Magpies academy in 2015, had joined League Two Crewe Alexandra on a six-month loan deal last season.
It was a move that should have given Smith, who spent time at Blackpool in 2015/16, the chance to prove he was ready for first-team football and catch the eye of Newcastle’s coaches but, thanks to injury, he has never able to make an appearance in Crewe colours and found himself being sent back to Tyneside with his prospects hardly advanced.
Now, however, after putting his injuries behind him, Smith is hopeful of securing another short-term move in the January transfer window according to The Chronicle .
“I could only describe it as the worst season I’ve had, and I’ve played football for a long time and had a lot of injuries,” Smith told The Chronicle.
“I got a good loan move to a good club like Crewe. I was just sort of settling in – I had been there two or three weeks – but I got an unfortunate injury and went back to Newcastle.
“You come here (Crewe), and they’ll lump balls into the box and they’ll kick, scrap and fight to get the win. More than likely they’ve got bonuses on the line. It’s their livelihoods. It changes it up from playing the same Premier League Under-23 clubs, when it’s a little bit repetitive.”
Smith is one of the most exciting prospects in Newcastle’s academy, although his form is yet to be rewarded with a first-team debut.
However, another exit midway through the season, and hopefully some regular football this time around, would surely benefit Smith more than spending the rest of the season in the club’s academy.
Newcastle have sent a number of talented youngsters on loan this season and the likes of Adam Armstrong, Ivan Toney and Alex Gilliead, enjoying spells at Bolton, Wigan and Bradford respectively, will hope to return to St James’ with their prospects enhanced eventually.
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