MATT SMITH has revealed his surprise at being allowed to leave Leeds United for Championship rivals Fulham ahead of the closure of last night’s summer transfer window.
The sale of the striker for a fee in the region of £750,000 went through shortly before the close of business at 11pm, with the shock development coming less than a fortnight after he signed a new three-year deal with United.
Smith, who links up with former Whites striker Ross McCormack at Craven Cottage, said: “Obviously since signing a new contract, I would have to say it’s been a bit of a surprise to be honest.
“Obviously, going into the signing, I was under the premise I was a massive part of the plans going forward and I was very humbled and excited at the prospect.
“For whatever reason; I still to this day don’t quite understand; I heard I was on a shortlist of players looking to be off-loaded.”
Despite his shock at being allowed to leave Elland Road, where he spent a productive 2013-14 season at the club which saw him net 14 goals, Smith insists the memories of his time at Leeds are ones that he will cherish, regardless of the abrupt manner of his exit.
Issuing thanks to Whites supporters via his Twitter account, the former Oldham frontman, who headed across the Pennines to Leeds in the summer of 2012, said: “ From the bottom of my heart, a huge thank you to everyone at @LUFC for the incredible support you’ve given me over the past 14 months.
“Would like to wish you all the best for the future. I’m taking with me some truly amazing memories & experiences.
“Extremely proud & excited to become a @FulhamFC player. Very determined ahead of this new chapter in my life. Thanks for all your kind messages.”