With Kyle Walker very likely heading out to Manchester City in a reported £40m deal, Tottenham Hotspur are looking at options at the right back position to either supplant or compete with Kieran Trippier. Former Tottenham player and academy graduate Adam Smith, now doing well at Bournemouth, is one name that has come up in recent weeks, and Spurs are reportedly considering bringing him back.
But Smith seems to have other ideas about this plan. Speaking to the Bournemouth Daily Echo, Smith said that he’s flattered to be linked with a return to Spurs, but that he’s planning to remain with the Cherries next year.
"That transfer talk is part of football, all the speculation builds towards the end of every season.
"It is always nice to be talked about in a positive way, because it means you are doing something right. I would rather that than be getting bad press.
"But I do not take too much notice of it. I am a Bournemouth player and I am planning to have a nice holiday now, then come back here next season."
Smith was a promising right back and grew up a Tottenham Hotspur fan, but he didn’t really get a chance in Tottenham’s first team under Harry Redknapp, Andre Villas-Boas and Tim Sherwood. He was pretty much constantly on loan from 2009-2013, and was eventually sold to Bournemouth before the arrival of Mauricio Pochettino, when the Cherries were still in the Championship. Smith said recently that he was disappointed to leave Spurs when he did after not really getting an opportunity. Since then he’s blossomed into a nailed on starter at right back under Eddie Howe and contributed six assists last season, scoring one goal.
Smith’s comments don’t shut the door entirely to the prospect of returning to Tottenham. Point of fact, as a current Bournemouth player, this is exactly the kind of thing that he should be saying: he’s flattered by the interest, but he’s currently a Bournemouth player and anticipates that he’ll still be one. But it is stronger in tone than most non-denial denials.
Signing Smith would be more competition for Trippier and less replacement for Walker, but he’s young and decent and has room to improve, and there aren’t that many decent right backs with Premier League experience who are available. We’ll have to see if Spurs continue to make interested noises about him as time goes on.