Dons hitman Smith has unfinished business at Charlton Athletic, says boss Powell
Charlton Athletic boss Chris Powell has revealed that Michael Smith was reluctant to join AFC Wimbledon on loan, as the striker felt he had unfinished business at The Valley.
Smith, who has scored nine goals for the Dons since his arrival in the summer, returns to the Addicks on January 4, with Dons boss Neal Ardley hoping he will return.
Ardley has admitted they will without Smith for up to two weeks while Powell takes stock of the 22-year-old’s development.
Powell said: “The plan will be for Michael to come back and we'll assess it then. But that was always the plan.
“It was always for him to go out and settle somewhere and Wimbledon was the right club for him.
“I know Neal [Ardley] and his staff really well and I felt it would be a good move.”
He added: “Michael was a little bit reluctant at first, he wanted to prove himself here.
“But actually getting the games and scoring the goals at League Two level has been good for him and good for Wimbledon. It's been a good loan all round.
“I've spoken to Michael a couple of times both on the phone and personally in my office, and he feels he has unfinished business here.”
Powell would not be drawn on whether Smith – who has also been loaned out to Accrington Stanley, Newport County and Colchester United since joining Charlton in 2011 - will be allowed to return to the Cherry Red Records stadium.
However, with the Addicks currently one point above the Championship drop zone and with the lowest goals tally in the league, striker Smith may be a welcomed addition until the end of the season.
Powell told the club’s website: “I wanted Michael to come back initially to see if he can affect us and see if he's ready. He looks good.
“I've watched him, my scout Phil Chapple has watched him and we've got the reports from Wimbledon. It's been a really good loan and a really positive move.
“I know Wimbledon would love to keep him and that may happen. He may go back for a couple of weeks, we may feel that will be right for him.
“But we want him back here first. He's my player, he's our player and he wants to do well at Charlton so I think it's only right he comes back, has a few pats on the back from us and from Wimbledon, and then we'll assess it then."
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