Edinburgh leaves it late to sign Portsmouth striker Michael Smith in loan deal

Neww obblers signing Michael Smith
Neww obblers signing Michael Smith

Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh has made a late move to strengthen the Cobblers’ attacking options with the loan signing of Portsmouth striker Michael Smith.

The Town manager sealed the deal for the 25-year-old just a couple of hours before the closing of the January transfer window on Tuesday night, and the former Swindon Town man joins the Cobblers from Pompey until the end of the season.

Smith has made 21 appearances for Paul Cook’s men so far this campaign, scoring six times, with three of those coming in a 4-3 Checkatrade Trophy defeat at Yeovil.

The 6ft 4in targetman has been a regular for Pompey in Sky Bet League Two since the beginning of November, scoring three times in 12 starts, and led the line in their surprise 1-0 defeat to Exeter City at Fratton Park on Saturday.

But he has been allowed to move on by boss Cook, temporarily at least, following Portsmouth’s signing of Preston North End striker Eoin Doyle until the end of the campaign.

He is a player that Edinburgh knows well, as he had him on a two-month loan spell at Newport County from November 2013 to January 2014, scoring four times in nine starts.

Smith only signed a permanent deal at Portsmouth for an undisclosed fee in the summer, having impressed during a loan spell from Swindon last season.

Born in Wallsend, Smith began his career at Darlington before signing for Charlton Athletic.

He failed to break into the Charlton first team, but enjoyed successful loan spells at Accrington Stanley, Newport County - under Edinburgh - Colchester United and AFC Wimbledon, before being bought by Swindon.

While with the Robins he enjoyed the best spell of his career, netting 26 goals in 61 starts and 11 substitute appearances, before after falling out of favour he was loaned out to Barnsley, and then Pompey.

In all, Smith has made 160 starts in his senior career, as well as making 49 substitute appearances, and has scored 61 goals.

He becomes the sixth loan player on the Cobblers’ books, which will cause an issue for Edinburgh as you are only allowed to name five in a match day squad, and could make his debut in Saturday’s Sky bet League One trip to Walsall.