What next for Nathan Smith? Port Vale fans have their say



He has given Port Vale four years of great service – now the club is waiting to see if Nathan Smith will be staying at Vale Park.

The central defender has been offered a new deal, but interest is likely in a player who has played beyond his years in clocking up 199 first team appearances for the club since he was given his first team debut on the opening day of the 2016/17 season by Bruno Ribeiro.

Vale have been talking to the defender for the last few months about a new contract and, having officially included his deal on the retained list, those terms are valid for the next three weeks under EFL rules.

So, Smith, from Madeley, is under no obligation to give the Vale an answer right away. The club feels they have made a strong offer but with different wage scales in League One and the Championship, Vale could be outbid if a higher division club comes in.

That said, we don’t know how the financial crisis in football will affect the situation. Clubs will have to make cut backs and probably go with smaller squads….and how many will be committing to new signings when we don’t know when League Two football will return?

Because he turned 24 in April, Smith can leave on a free transfer.

Vale author and historian Phil Sherwin said: “I am sure there will be interest because he is such a good player. He could play higher so it would be great if we could keep him.

“In the current situation, maybe there is less chance of him moving on. The market is dead and new signings can’t be furloughed.

“Also, once players are out of contract, they are only paid to the end of June so that might be another reason to take the contract offer while it is there.

“If he does leave then I would wish him all the best, he has to look after himself and his family. He has done really well for us over nearly 200 games so I just hope he is still with us when we do start again, however long that might be.”

Vale manager John Askey had his say about the defender in The Sentinel and StokeonTrentLive. Askey said: “I have been speaking to Nathan for quite a while now, probably since Christmas.

“We have offered him a good deal to keep him at the club for a longer period but it is a difficult one. We should know in the next two or three weeks what his decision is.

“Nathan appears as though he enjoys being at the club and I think he has enjoyed this season. So, you would be hope that, unless it was a club from a higher division, he will re-sign for us.”

Supporters have been having their say on Facebook in response to that story. 

Writing on the Sentinel and StokeonTrentLive’s dedicated Port Vale page, Matthew Steadman said: “: “Don’t forget there will be the biggest pool of free transfers ever this summer! League 1 teams may find championship players available that are better than Nathan.”

However, Jamie Barnett is not hopeful. He said: “We lost Nathan when we surrendered the chance of promotion. He’ll be L1 next season, no doubt about it.”

Writing on the A Pint Of Vale page, Car Sireno said: “I can’t see how, in the current climate, any other club has the income to bring players in from other clubs?”

Lindsay Whitehouse added: “I agree with Carl. In the current situation it would take a rich Championship club to take a punt on Nathan, and one that must be utterly convinced that he can be a real success at that level.

“Time will tell, of course. I would have thought that his agent, if he was sensible, would be advising him that this is a damn good offer and one that will give him continued security with a club on the rise. We all know that many agents are not at all sensible. Let’s see then.”

However, Tony Boulton said: “The opposite line of approach could be the problem for us. If a Championship club think they can find bargains in the lower leagues (like it used to be) they may be willing to make an offer that Nathan can’t afford to refuse. Despite current circumstances, they have WAY more to play with than L1/L2.”

We’ll leave the final word with David Filcher, writing on The Wonder of Port Vale page.

He said: “If stays, fantastic. If he goes. good luck to the fella.”





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