Charlton Athletic have secured the loan signing of Matt Smith from Arsenal until the end of the season.
The highly-rated, ball-playing midfielder impressed in 26 games on loan at Swindon Town in the first half of this season, scoring two goals and recording four assists.
The talented 20-year-old becomes the fourth arrival of a busy January transfer window, following the signings of Ronnie Schwartz, Liam Millar and Jayden Stockley.
Lee Bowyer was pleased to add further quality to his midfield. He said: “I think he suits the way we play, he’s an energetic midfielder. I like that he looks to play forward every time he receives the ball, he’s going to be another good addition to our squad.
“We know with players we’ve had previously from Arsenal, they are all good and comfortable on the ball and importantly he has played men’s football before so he should hit the ground running.”
Director of Football Steve Gallen explained Charlton looked at bringing Smith in during the summer transfer window but because of the conditions at the club weren’t able to do so. He said: “He’s done well at Swindon, we’ve followed him over the last few months and he came available late and we were in a position to sign him, so I’m pleased we’ve been able to get it done.
“He’s a good footballer technically, especially with his through passes and reverse passes – he’s a clever player. He’s good at receiving on the half turn, trying to play forward, so he’ll complement our team and the way we play. Players like Ronnie Schwartz and Conor Washington should benefit from the passes that he brings.”
Charlton owner Thomas Sandgaard was pleased to be able to add to the squad on deadline day. He said: ““Matt Smith has impressed the team with his passing skills and will help us create opportunities for our strikers. He’s done well in this division already this season, so I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do for us.”
The 20-year-old trained with his teammates for the first time on Sunday and said: “I’m really excited, I’m really looking forward to getting started. I feel I can learn a lot off the manager and from the experienced players here. It’s a new challenge for me and ultimately I want to come here and help the team get promotion and have a strong second half to the season.”
Smith will wear number 18 for the Addicks and will be available to be in the squad for Tuesday’s game against Portsmouth.
The midfielder's first interview as a Charlton player will be available to watch on Charlton TV's Valley Pass Live production of Tuesday's game. Click here to get your pass for Tuesday's game.
Supporters can buy a Charlton shirt from the club shop here.