Welling United have signed Jack Sims in goal, suggesting Arsenal loanee Tom Smith isn’t set for a quick return to the pitch.

Tom Smith with Welling United (Photo via WellingUnited.com)
Tom Smith with Welling United (Photo via WellingUnited.com)

We recently covered the news that Arsenal loanee Tom Smith had dislocated his shoulder in Welling United’s defeat to Oxford City. Though we still don’t have a timeframe for his absence, it’s not encouraging that Welling have made a replacement signing.

Welling announced earlier this week that Jack Sims was joining the club, having recently left Blackpool. Sims made three appearances for the Blackpool first-team, and he was a regular in their squad for the last two campaigns, appearing on the bench 57 times.

The new goalkeeper took the number 13 shirt with Welling (Smith have number 1), and he went straight into the team for their 3-1 win over Chippenham Town at the weekend.

There are obviously two main concerns here. Firstly, the worry is that Smith’s shoulder injury could keep him out for the long term. Kieran Tierney dislocated his shoulder with Arsenal in 2019, and he required three months out.

Secondly, Smith is going to return to fitness under a manager who didn’t sign him (following Steve Lovell’s resignation) with a new goalkeeper for competition. He’s going to have his work cut out to win his place back.

If we’re looking for positives, Smith did come straight back into the team after his last injury, despite Welling making an emergency loan signing to cover him. Let’s hope the same thing happens when his shoulder recovers.