Sherwood: Smith could be first-choice at Spurs in future

© Daniel Harwood

TOTTENHAM technical co-ordinator Tim Sherwood believes Millwall have a player of Premier League quality on their hands in new signing Adam Smith.

Smith has joined the Lions on a three-month loan and will go straight into the side to face Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday.

The 21-year-old becomes the eighth Spurs youngster to move to The Den since 2005, following in the footsteps of Andros Townsend and Harry Kane, and Sherwood has revealed Tottenham’s faith in manager Kenny Jackett.

“Kenny has been very good with our players in the past and we trust him to do right by them,” he told NewsAtDen.

“You can’t always say that about other managers and that’s why we continue to loan our players to Millwall. They get treated well and it’s good atmosphere to play in.

“The crowd are a little bit lively and that’s good, because it adds to the pressure of performing on a live stage. Sometimes these boys miss out on that.”

While Jackett has already hinted that he will assess whether to pursue a permanent deal for Smith in the January transfer window, Sherwood confirmed that the England U21 international has a long-term future at White Hart Lane.

“We’ve got high hopes for him,” he admitted. “Adam is not someone we’re looking to get rid of.

“At this stage he just needs to go out and get some games. He could play in the Premier League. It just takes longer for these boys to get their opportunity but he’s got a great chance of making his way at Spurs.

“Kyle Walker and Kyle Naughton are both England internationals and Adam is already playing for the U21s. He wouldn’t be playing at that level on a regular basis if he wasn’t Premier League standard.

“At this moment in time, we think he could be the future for Tottenham and we want him to continue to learn. He’s a great lad, has a good attitude and he’ll knuckle down.”

While Smith has been brought in to provide defensive cover with Alan Dunne suspended and Jack Smith injured, Sherwood says the right-back is equally adept when going forward.

“He’s an all-round full-back,” he said. “He has that sense of knowing when to go forward. He’s got great delivery.

“In terms of the quality of his crossing, he’s up there with the other right-backs we have got at the club. He has real ability in the final third. He’s a very good acquisition for Millwall.”