Arsenal academy goalkeeper Tom Smith is joining the National League side Dover Athletic until the end of January 2021.

Tom Smith with Arsenal (Photo via Smith on Instagram)
Tom Smith with Arsenal (Photo via Smith on Instagram)

In an article posted on last Friday, the club confirmed they’re sending academy goalkeeper Tom Smith on loan to National League side Dover Athletic. For those who don’t know, the National League is one tier below League Two.

Arsenal managed to keep the article fairly hidden, likely choosing not to make much noise about it given it was a lower-profile move to a non-league side. Hence why most of the media didn’t even realise it happened until the start of this week.

Dover don’t give much more information on the move, only reporting that Smith is joining on loan.

We’ll have to wait and see exactly when in January they’re planning to send him back, given the variety in the dates on other recent loans. Either way, it’s another one only lasting until the middle of the season, in a clear change of policy for Arsenal.

Smith went on loan to non-league last season as well, and he made a really positive impression with Salisbury Town. Unfortunately, the teenager picked up an injury and returned to Arsenal within a couple of months.

It only makes sense to send him back out now he’s fully fit again. A consistent season would give the 18-year-old the chance to step up next year.