Smith keen to return
Ex-Arsenal youngster looking to make England return
By Chris Galea. Last Updated: July 12, 2011 12:34pm
Former Arsenal and Millwall winger Ryan Smith is keen to return to the UK after spending the past 16 months in the USA.
The 24-year-old impressed in the MLS for Sporting Kansas City, but wants to come back to England for personal reasons.
The pacey playmaker's availability has alerted a number of potential suitors, including a host of Championship clubs.
Smith endured frustrating stop-start spells with Arsenal, Derby, Millwall and Crystal Palace before travelling across the Atlantic and he has told skysports.com that he will be returning an improved player.
"I thoroughly enjoyed myself over there, but the main reason for me coming back to the UK is to be closer to my family and daughter," said Smith.
"It was really tough out there without them, but I did quite well on the pitch, so it was a good spell even it was difficult mentally at times.
"I'm a free agent now, so I can join any club that is interested in me and there has been a few clubs interested so far.
"There have been clubs from the UK and abroad that have contacted me, but there is no rush right now and it is important for me to find the right club and manager first.
"Living in the USA meant that I was at least 12 hours away from my family, so playing anywhere in Europe would be a maximum of four or five hours away.
"I wouldn't mind playing anywhere in Europe, but I'd prefer to return to the UK if the right opportunity comes up.
"The move to the USA did help me in many ways because I was practically on my own over there and had to dig in and find myself again, which I did.
"I'm ready for whatever comes now and when an opportunity comes my way I will grasp it with both hands."