DevonLive has reported that Exeter City are among the frontrunners for the signature of highly-rated Noah Smerdon.
The 18-year-old full-back has impressed during his time at Gloucester City, a consistent performer in the National League South. His performances have warranted interest from a number of clubs across England’s top four divisions, with rumours of his departure from Gloucester escalating over the past six months.
Smerdon has previously tested himself at levels higher than the National League South, playing for Forest Green Rovers’ reserve team in a Central League match against Plymouth Argyle last December. Furthermore, the youngster also trained with Watford last season, who consistently sent scouts to track his performances during the first half of last season. Chelsea have also previously registered interested in the young full-back, though their transfer ban would likely make a move for the 18-year-old difficult.
Originally Smerdon is originally a prospect of the West Bromwich Albion academy. However, he rejected a professional contract with The Baggies in 2017, choosing his A-levels over a professional contract. This may hinder the Grecians’ pursuit of Smerdon as West Brom are entitled to two thirds of any transfer fee paid for the full-back. Therefore, the potential transfer fee required to prise Smerdon from Gloucestershire may be an inflated price.
Smerdon profiles as the type of player Exeter City have had previous success with. The club are proud of their youth academy structure, boasting products such as Chelsea’s Ethan Ampadu, and Christy Pym, who recently transferred to Peterborough. The prospect of a move is mutually beneficial for both parties. The Grecians would aimto develop Smerdon and help him grow, profiting from a talented player who will command a higher price tag in future. Smerdon, on the other hand, may favour Exeter due to a guarantee of playtime that couldn’t be assured higher up the football pyramid.