Former Arsenal midfielder Matt Smith is set to sign for Wigan following the expiration of his contract at the London club, according to journalist Pete O’Rourke of Football Insider.
Although never making a senior appearance for the Gunners, Smith was on the substitute bench for three Premier League fixtures last season. The former captain of the Arsenal under-21s will now be moving on from the Emirates following the expiration of his contract.
Wigan look set to sign the youngster, who already has experience in the third tier through loans to Doncaster Rovers, Swindon Town and Charlton Athletic. The Latics have been busy in the transfer window in the last few days following the uplifting of their transfer embargo. They brought both Callum McManaman and Jonny Smith through the doors of the DW stadium yesterday, as they look to make up for lost time in the transfer window.
The Latics will be playing their football in the third tier this season following their 24th place finish and subsequent relegation from the Championship last year. There have plenty of off-field problems at the DW in the last year, most notably the failures to pay players and staff on time which has led to the club beginning the League One season on minus eight points. Already on the back foot, smart signings will need to be made if the Latics want to be competitive this year and the potential signing of Smith will improve those chances.
Who is Matt Smith?
Having joined Arsenal as a seven-year-old, Smith has spent his entire career as a Gunner. He has however enjoyed multiple loan spells in the last couple of years which have helped him gain experience in the senior ranks. Smith spent the first half of the 2020/21 season on loan with then-League One Swindon Town, making 27 appearances and contributing two goals and three assists. He would spend the second half of the season on loan with fellow League One side Charlton Athletic but would struggle to consistently hold a starting position down. The following season he signed for Doncaster on a season-long loan and was very impressive when playing as a deep-lying midfielder. Smith is fairly versatile and can play across the midfielder but his strongest attribute is his passing. He will be expected to pick up the ball from his defenders and will be vital in the transition of play.
Having already impressed for several League One sides, it now looks likely that Smith will complete a permanent move to the division. Wigan are really starting to pick-up their business in the transfer window and the 22-year-old would be a welcomed addition to the midfield. He should be in contention for a starting spot at the DW and certainly has the ability to be a star in the Latics’ midfield.