Ipswich Town set to let defender’s contract run out


Ipswich Town defender Chris Smith will be released from his contract at the end of the season, Prost International understands.

The 21-year-old academy graduate has found first team chances limited this season as a result of a long-term back injury.

Smith has made just one appearance for the senior team, as part of a young side that were beaten by Crystal Palace in the Carabao Cup back in August 2017 and was as an unused substitute in a 1-0 victory over Leeds United in January 2018.

The young defender spent the majority of the 2017/18 season on-loan at Vanarama National League South side Chelmsford City, quickly settling in as a fan-favourite at the Essex-based side.

After being recalled to the Town squad amid a defensive crisis at Portman Road, then-Blues boss Mick McCarthy praised his development while out on-loan.

“He looks like more of a bloke. He’s been playing in that level where you have to stand up for yourself because it’s a physical game and it’s not the Under 23s.

“Chris looks like an accomplished player and looks like a bloke when he walks through the door.

“I hope he can (have a first team future) but until they’re playing it you will never find out I guess.

“Sometimes there has to be an injury crisis where players get injured and you come in and take your chance.”

The 21-year-old defender thought he could become the latest Town youngster to sign professional terms – following in the foot-steps of Corrie Ndaba, Kai Brown, Brett McGavin and Idris El Mizouni who had all turned their scholar status into professionals in recent months – but the former Kesgrave High School student must now look for a new employer.

Smith made 28 appearances while on-loan with the Clarets and was hopeful of being further involved in the first team following the arrival of Paul Hurst. However, the young defender was only able to make five appearances at Vanarama National League side Aldershot Town before injury struck and his chances became limited under new boss Paul Lambert.


About Author

When not busy covering local news for EssexLive, Matt Lee can be found in the press box at Portman Road covering Ipswich Town's return to the Championship and push for the Premier League.

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