Plenty of Australian 2018 World Cup hopefuls have made moves during January but there’s a sense of urgency with the transfer window due to close at midnight Wednesday (European time/10am AEDT Thursday).
Free agent Tim Cahill completed his switch to Championship club Millwall on Monday boosting his Socceroos aspirations in his bid to impress new coach Bert van Marwijk.
There’s been plenty of others making switches including Jamie Maclaren (Hibernian), Mitchell Langerak (Nagoya Grampus), Kwame Yeboah (Paderborn), Dylan McGowan (Gangwon FC), Ben Halloran (V-Varen Nagazaki), Alex Gersbach (RC Lens), Ryan McGowan (Bradford City) and most recently Apostolos Giannou (AEK Larnaca).
However, there’s still a handful of wannabe Socceroos who need to make a move and time is ticking away with the transfer window set to close (it’s worth noting FIFA has introduced new rules which means the emergency loan window no longer exists beyond January).
The 23-year-old ex-Liverpool left-back is clearly on the fringes at Bournemouth under Eddie Howe, having made only three appearances this season, all in cup competitions. Smith hasn’t been helped by a hip injury but he returned in January in a shock FA Cup draw with third tier Wigan where they trailed 2-0 at the break, prompting his substitution. Game-time seems unlikely for him at Dean Court in the next six months so a loan move down a division is essential if he’s to make the squad for Russia.