Arsenal midfielder on his ‘no-brainer’ loan switch to Doncaster Rovers

Matt Smith says reuniting with Richie Wellens was a no-brainer of a move - especially after consulting with some former Doncaster Rovers loanees.

Monday, 5th July 2021, 3:20 pm

The Arsenal midfielder has joined Rovers on a season-long loan and will work with boss Wellens for a second time in his young career.

Wellens signed the 20-year-old on loan at the start of last season while in charge of Swindon Town and Smith jumped at the chance of working with the Rovers boss once again.

But he also consulted with two players who have made the same temporary move north from the Emirates - former Rovers loanees Tyreece John-Jules and Ben Sheaf.

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Matt Smith in action against Rovers for Swindon Town last season
Matt Smith in action against Rovers for Swindon Town last season

“I spoke to both of them,” Smith said. “That pushed me towards coming here as well because they spoke so highly of it.

“They said they enjoyed it, it’s a good club.

“And Richie is a top manager. I love working with him.

“As a player, he wanted to work with me every day and help me develop and push on.

“I really enjoyed my time working with him so to come here to Doncaster was a no-brainer.

“Doncaster, being a big club, play the right way and a way that suits me as well.

“It was a no-brainer to come here, especially for the development of my career.

“Hopefully we’ll do well and kick on this season.

“I think Richie will try to build a good team like he did at Swindon.

“He wants to play the right way and I think we’ve got a good chance of getting promoted.”

Smith made 30 appearances for Swindon before his loan was cut short in January, with Arsenal sending him to complete the campaign with another League One side, Charlton Athletic.

And he believes he is fully ready for the rigours of a full campaign in the third tier.

“It’s my second season in League One so I know what to expect,” he said.

“I’m here to just help the team and hopefully we can go on and win promotion.

“Every day in and around professionals in training, you’ve got to be at it.

“It was about adapting to the division.

“It was good for me and I’m looking forward to the season.”

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