Sunderland have released Tommy Smith after his short-term contract expired as confirmed by the club website.

The 30-year-old defender is best known for his long spell at Ipswich Town. He came through their youth system, making over 200 appearances for the club before his departure in 2018. He also had loan spells away from the club at Stevenage, Brentford and Colchester United. Smith would then leave the country to play US side Colorado Rapids where he spent a year.

Smith would then go on to sign for Sunderland in February on a short-term deal that would last until the end of the season. It was expected that he would be a solid squad player for the Black Cats considering his experience in the EFL but it didn’t end up working out for him.

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The New Zealand international would go on to make no appearances for Sunderland during his time at the Stadium of Light. Smith may have had a chance if given a longer time at the club but just a couple of weeks after signing with the club, the Coronavirus pandemic caused the suspension of the season.

With Sky Bet League One’s future uncertain with the division yet to decide if the season will continue, Sunderland have decided to get a head start on the cost-cutting that will be required. This has led to them releasing Smith before any potential restart of the season. Smith will now be a free agent and will be forced to look for a new side in the summer.

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Were Sunderland right to release Tommy Smith?