Arsenal are set to send Matt Smith on loan to Swindon Town for the coming season, according to a report from The Sun (2/8; page 61).
Smith has been a regular fixture for the Gunners’ under-23s this past campaign. He made 12 appearances in Premier League 2, scoring once and providing three assists.
His development was awarded by Mikel Arteta, who included the 19-year-old on the first-team bench six times towards the end of this past season.
Smith did not manage to get onto the pitch. But he will surely take a lot of heart from being named in the matchday squad for the FA Cup final over Chelsea at the weekend.
And he looks set to have the chance to take the next step in his development. The Sun (2/8; page 61) reports that Smith is likely to join Swindon on loan this summer.
The Robins are preparing for their return to League One after winning the title this past season.
The Gunners sent a number of bright prospects out on loan last season. Daniel Ballard, in fact, was loaned to Swindon last summer before his campaign was agonisingly cut short due to injury.
And while it looks a tall order for some of those players to break into the first-team at the Emirates, Arteta has shown that he has no problem putting his faith in young players if they catch his eye.
Smith has seemingly already had his foot in the door with those call-ups to the first-team bench. So perhaps a loan spell may be exactly what he needs to take that next step.