Sam Smith has today headed out on loan in search of first team football for the upcoming season. The striker joins ‘Oxford United’, whatever that is, for the full 2018/19 campaign. With the arrival of Sam Baldock, Smith is now well down the pecking order at the Madejski Stadium, so a loan move to Oxford - who play in a lower league than Reading - makes sense for his development. He would otherwise be competing for minutes not only with Baldock, but also with Marc McNulty, Jon Dadi Bodvarsson and Yakou Meite.
In total, he only played 11 times for the club last season, although he did score twice - one against Millwall in the League Cup and the other away at Norwich City in Jaap Stam’s last match in charge.
It’ll be Smith’s first proper taste of senior football. Besides playing in Reading’s youth teams, the 20 year-old also spent a brief period at Bishop’s Stortford in 2016, so playing regularly in League One will be a challenge we hope he takes well to.
We’d also advise him to keep his shots down because otherwise they’ll go into the car park.
O****d United manager Karl Robinson said:
“I think he is another excellent addition. I think most fans have known we were looking at Sam for much of the summer because we know all about the qualities he has and what he will bring to the club.
“He is quick, direct and will score goals and he also fits the profile of what we look for in a player: hungry for success and willing to work hard as part of a
club that will forever be in Reading’s shadowteam to achieve that.
At the Kassam, Smith will link up with fellow Reading academy graduates James Henry and Rob Dickie, and former loanee Jamie Mackie.
Best of luck Sam!