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Adam Smith Enjoys Another Excellent Game In An England Shirt As U21s Romp To Victory

Tottenham's on-loan fullback pitched in with two assists to help his England U21 side beat a spirited Sweden team 4-0.

Alex Livesey

Smith was deeply impressive once again for the side, showing off both the industrious and explosive sides of his game and causing Sweden all sorts of problems with his smart movement down the flank. His two assists demonstrated the range of his technique with the ball at his feet, the first a picture-perfect swerving cross the feet of Thomas Ince to make it 1-0, the second a neat cutback which caused a scramble in the opposition area and ultimately gifted Jonjo Shelvey an easy tap-in to make it two. His defensive contributions also contributed to what amounted to a seventh straight clean sheet for Stuart Pearce's men.

What really strikes me about Smith is how he plays the same role as Kyle Walker, that of a very attacking fullback, in a totally different way to his RB spot rival- whereas Walker uses bursts of pace from deep to kick off attacks with long solo runs, Smith opts much more often to instead ghost into spaces halfway up the pitch in order to make himself an option l and play give-and-go. His movement and eagerness to receive and recycle the ball often allows the U21 sides he plays in to string together team passing moves through him in this respect. Obviously, it's easy to praise this quality when watching him play lesser U21 sides featuring wingers that make very little effort to track him and pin him back, but still, his intelligence on the pitch is certainly nice to watch, and makes a refreshing change from the equal-parts wonderful and horrifying rollercoaster that is every Kyle Walker performance ever.

Something to consider: Adam Smith will be 22 when his current loan with Millwall ends. I make that out to be around the time to decide whether he has a future with the first team or not. Off the back of continually improving performances such as these, I give him an easy pass for a shot at breaking in next term.