Arsenal youth goalkeeper Tom Smith joined Welling United on loan on Tuesday, and he made his friendly debut for the team the same day.

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

Arsenal and Welling United confirmed on Tuesday that Tom Smith will be joining the National League South side on loan for the 2021/22 season.

Smith signed his contract in the morning on Tuesday, with the announcement coming in the afternoon, and then he was straight into the team for his debut by the evening.

The goalkeeper featured in a 2-2 friendly draw against Cray Wanderers, and he spoke to the Welling United YouTube channel afterwards.

One interesting element to this loan transfer is that the Arsenal u23s were initially due to play Welling United in pre-season, but the game was called off after Arsenal’s Covid cases at London Colney.

Evidently, the two clubs remained in dialogue after the cancellation to agree on Smith’s loan.

This is Smith’s third loan to non-league football, and he’ll be hoping to improve on the last two. He made 10 appearances for Salisbury United but got injured and was recalled early. At Dover Athletic, he just never fully managed to break into the starting lineup.

The 19-year-old will hope this season promises to be a busier one for him.