Dramatically slashed odds at the bookies have the social networks close to breaking point with Leeds United fans pondering the return of the prodigal son.

Alan Smith speculation has been the headache of the summer for those of us who believe his return is indicative of a Leeds United side stuck in the past, rather than one building for the future. But that’s not the case with everyone, and there is a growing number of Leeds United fans in favour of his return.

Last night, Sky Bet shortened their odds to 1/4 – for those of you unfamiliar with betting odds, 1/4 means that for every £4 you bet, you’ll win £1 (plus your original stake back) if Smith returns to Elland Road by the end of the summer.

Today, those odds have dropped even further with the bookmakers now offering 1/5 on his return making Leeds heavy favourites to capture the Newcastle United player ahead of West Ham at 5/1 and Leicester City at 6/1.

Odds shortening at this rate could indicate that the bookies know something we don’t. It could also mean that there has been some inside knowledge at play and that those in the know have bet heavily on his return forcing the bookies to shorten their odds and minimise loss. Alternatively, it could just be the work of some obsessed Leeds fans betting heavily convinced that Smith will return.

There are credible arguments for and against his return. On the one hand, a partnership with Michael Brown should result in a much tougher central midfield than we saw last season, which in turn could solve the defensive problems we have.

On the other hand, the Smith-Brown partnership is likely to be a slow one, void of creativity and with an appalling disciplinary record. There is also a strong chance these players will have extended time on the sidelines through the injuries and suspensions they will inevitably amass.

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  • Gryff

    Perhaps a poll should be “Is Smith worth the money?”

    I’d welcome him back, he’s a good Championship level midfielder, but I don’t want us paying massive wages for him (especially if he gets injured again).

    • TSS

      Hard to say what we’re going to pay for him though. Newcastle are desperate to offload so could be much less than what has been reported. Smith could also accept even less from Leeds.

  • Dje

    I read somewhere on another site that it was a few biggish bids rather than loads of little ones. They could be obsessives, but at such poor odds, why would you be putting thousands on this happening unless you really did know something.

    Those odds seem too poor to be wrong.

  • Dje

    Well I have to say that the voting is going the way it is. It was 70:30 in favour when he was rumoured to be coming a few weeks back, and I’d have thought it’d swing more towards evens than the way it has.

    Leeds’ fans, so unpredictable huh?!

  • Dje

    Well I have to say that I’m shocked the way the voting is going. It was 70:30 in favour when he was rumoured to be coming a few weeks back, and I’d have thought it’d swing more towards evens than the way it has.

    Leeds’ fans, so unpredictable huh?!

  • Remis

    I think Smith coming home would be a great signing! Him and Brown would do well together in the midfield and would be a lot better than Johnson and Killkenny. I also think they will be great to have around the younger players.We would be solid and would concede a lot less goals. Smith has always had passion and I think if he came back he would feel as though he has something to prove to fans because he feels like he let us down!!! He will give it his all and I think it will be a great signing if he can play 20+ games which i’m sure he could. He did well for Newcastle in Championship when they got promoted and will do even better when playing in the white of Leeds!!! I would love it if he came back and I for one hope it happens

  • MightyWhite

    I’ll give you Smith, but I don’t believe Brown has much of a history of injuries? Obviously he does have a bad disciplinary record, but I seem to recall Leeds had the worst discipline in the whole Championship last season. We got no end of bookings for silly, petulant stuff, I guess with these two we’ll at least get them for proper reasons!

    As for the ‘devoid of creativity’ comment. It’s exactly the same as last season. Kilkenny and Johnson weren’t creative players – what with one constantly playing sideways and the other overly fond of passing it to the opposition – but they didn’t need to be. We’re geared up to hurt teams out wide and in the final third. Gradel, Becchio, Snodgrass, Howson and the full backs are our attacking threats. What BJ and Killa should have been there for was to keep everything together so that those players could get on with their jobs without worrying about what was going on behind them. They weren’t up to the job. The signing of Brown and the rumours linking us with Smith and/or Mongomery give me a lot of hope for next season. We may finally dominate the midfield again.

  • JayMac

    It was Woody, Bowyer and Smith who were the trio who were meant to rejoin Leeds…. Woody’s gone to stoke, Bowyers gone to Ipswich and Smith is still in the fray…. I’ll forever doubt it until Smith’s signature is on the Paper.

  • trueyorxman

    Even more worrying than a former Scummer coming back is Becchios in for an op on Fri & could be out for upto 8 weeks

  • rwhites

    Who is this Smith charecter anyway, I’ve never heard of him!!!!

  • rwhites

    If that is actually true it’s a disgrace.
    They have had since April to get his injury sorted and if they have left it till now just to see how it would heel on it’s own somebody needs shooting!!!

  • jo

    aside from all the sentimentality, since when has he actually been a good central midfielder? why would newcastle be so keen to get rid if he was?

    • Dje

      There are some who disagree, but he played defensive midfield and captain for the majority of Newcastle’s Chmapionship winning side of 2009-10.

      They want rid of him because of his wages. He’s on c. £55,000 a week and they’d prefer other players in other positions for next season. to be honest he’s not good enough for the Premiership but I reckon if he was around £20,000 a week then they’d gladly keep him for squad player.

  • Bubionwhite

    I voted for him to come back … I think he would be good for morale and would give confidence to some of the younger players and help them develop. Not sure I would have Smith and Brown in the same starting side, particularly for home games as they appear to me to be capable of fulfilling the same role … so in a 4-4-2 formation perhaps it would be Howson / Clayton / Nunez as the creative player alongside Smith or Brown. However, lets wait and see whether he arrives, or not.

  • Ash

    Would welcome him back…if he came, not the same thing as do I want him to come back….think now we’ve got brown he isnt what the team are crying out for, but would still be useful…

  • kev

    well boys and gils i worked for the airline that brought smith back from his jollys last week and i asked him out right on the flight “Alan are you coming back to play for Leeds United again” his response was “cant see it mate,burnt too many bridges,it would be like going back to an old girlfriend,but i wish them all the luck in the world ” so maybe somethings changed since last week i don’t know,lets wait and see !!

  • Mojoluafc

    I`d have`im back no probs, he could do a good job at Leeds.

  • CJ

    Is anybody gullible enough to believe that Bates will actually put his hand in his pocket. Not likely!!!
    I personally DON’T want scummer Smith back but his signing would show real ambition. So in that aspect I would welcome a signing of his calibre.
    The reality is Gradel will be sold, along with anybody else that Bates can sell & replaced by a free agent or loan signing.

  • Irving08

    No, No, No: we need a left footed midfielder, not a very average right footed player of no particular position (David Platt come to anyone’s mind ?). We will miss Bradley, who only needed to be played in his proper position (left midfield in a 4-3-3) to shine brighter: Watch what Lambert gets out of him at Norwich. And we have had right-footed teams before – we didn’t need to repeat the sorry experience. Of course, White is a natural for the position, but wiil SG play him there ? And thereby free funds to grasp the centre back nettle and the need for a pacy striker in the Simeon Jackson mould (or is that Max ?).

  • Simon

    I would welcome back a fit Alan Smith provided we still got a replacement for Killa.

  • chareose

    You have to look at the bigger picture, Smith could play up front as a pretty effective holding player if it was needed so he isnt just a midfeild option to Grayson and to me would be a good move

  • Colin

    Kev, we had the ‘Alan Smith on a plane/in an airport’ when the rumours went around last time (remember the comments from Sabella?)

    Anyway, he wouldn’t say he ‘burnt too many bridges’. Other people might say that, but Smith never burnt any bridges, he just did was he was told to do by Leeds United.

    Which airline do you work for?

    Hot Air?

    • kv

      colin u knob,if u,d like to meet me at leeds,bradford airport tom morning i work for KLM,how do u know what was said and wasnt said i’ll show u photos with him ask the other 2 lads who were there exactly the same time !!up to you

      • Gryff

        Either way you have nothing to fear, Colin.

        We all know what the average airline boy looks like…

  • chareose

    Jaymac, if Bechio will be injured for a while then it makes a bit for Smith even more logical because he can do job in both midfeild and as a holding striker

  • Tyler75

    I voted no – nothing to do with him crossing the Pennines, but his history of injuries, lack of pace and the fact that he’s hardly Xavi with his range of passing. Now we’ve got Brown, we don’t need him.

  • Matt BB

    Smiths an absolute legend and would be a sign of intent, sign him up.

  • Altrinchamandrew

    Time for the anti smith “fans” to move on and look forward. His sale to Salford United gave us desperately needed cash upfront: he even gave his signing fee back to us. Pity these fans don’t direct their passion to the future. What we need now is players who love our club. Smith can impose himself in midfield which was sadly missing last season. If you’re reading this Alan time to come home. Can’t please all the people all the time but time to win over the doubters and gain promotion back to the Promised land. Welcome back.

  • Loved them diamond floodlights

    Why would he fly klm to Amsterdam for a change or connection or whatever from leeds he only went to the states the guy has more money than most of us can dream of why wouldn’t he of just flown direct from scumchester or wherever maybe I’m looking at it wrong but I wouldn’t be faffing about like that Or maybe it’s easier than it seems , anyway there is a lot of smoke me thinks???

    • euroboysie

      Maybe he went to an airfield like Portland in the States that you cant get a flight from the UK to

      • Loved them diamond floodlights

        Oh right I suppose , I’d have smith back if we will be better for it I’d have cantona back if we were better for it!

  • mis

    i will only welcome smudger back
    unless he returning to his original role as a striker.

    in my opinion, his fitness is a major hiccup.

  • orangina

    It’s time to bury the hatchet and bring him home, I will believe it when I see it though as this has been bandied around for too long…
    I got to know Smithy well at Leeds and to be honest I could never bring myself to hate him at Scumchester. Those who don’t want him back are welcome to their opinion but he has the experience and passion to help us mount a serious challenge for promotion this year. MOT guys!!!

  • Andy Livewire

    Or it could be that Sky Bet are purposely dropping their price so it makes a news story and get them lots more links and lots more traffic. No risk to them as they manage their book so they are not exposed.

  • michael horspool

    look can we please stop being children…i agree with the other fella, it is not about him playing for man u, we would all welcome ferdinhand back right now, how about vidic or rooney. in fact we are meant to be after rafel who i would welcome on loan. the fact is smith loved leeds and was a good lad but a pony footballer. he has no pace no skill, no passing and a body which seems to be falling to pieces. look at all the free agents in football money could be better spent. michael johnson is quality and would tare our league up if we got him, also glad to have paddy back but what about the other four in our back five? we need a keeper and three defenders not smith. people say he is a has been i would argue he was a never was been and was only half decent as he played alongside mark viduka who was amazing. on a another note if we sell gradel or keep losing player who is up for finding ken bates with me and kicking him squarely in the nuts?

    • Irving08

      You are right. Smith was just one of those lads who peaked as a teenager with lots of parental encouragement and support. He then had the good luck to play alongside one of the best centre forwards I have ever seen (V.) and his reputation was made. Since then he has gone the way of David Platt – downhill – albeit assisted by some bad injuries. Yet he still seems to have a reputation and, given his modest footballing abilities, plus the fact that he doesn’t seem to be a particularly charming man signing could cause big trouble in the dressing room. The fact that he is alleged to love our club means nothing when it comes to assessing what he could add to the team. Last year a sober assessment of Andy Hughes – a top man in every respect – led to his departure. I see no reason to drop our standards just because the person in question is called Alan Smith.

  • Greg6453

    I got to know Smithy well at Leeds and to be honest I could never bring myself to hate him at Scumchester

    No sh*t you write the same thing on every website.

  • Get a grip

    Still living of his ‘name’ the guy is past it his injury record has seen to that, hopefully we’ll never see him in a leeds shirt again he’d be a drain on our wage budget. Whos going to folk out his 50k wages when hes no longer on Newcastles books?

  • krustytheclown

    horspool are you retarded with that statement about smith being a pony footballer, in his day he was 1 of the best around, did you even see him play?

    • michael horspool

      where has krusty gone…where has krusty gone???? your not posting anymore…your not posting anymore

  • michael horspool

    ok to argue with the person who called me a retard…yes saw smith play and i cheered when he scored against lazio and the other 38 goals he scored for leeds as a die hard leeds fan. my opinion is that he is pony yours is he is one of the best around…well no on can argue with opinion so lets look at the facts. fact number one your name is crusty the clown and you want to be taken seriously? you either star in popular cartoon series set in springfield of your a bit of a ‘joker’ bet you wear crazy office ties while being a check out man for tescos…no liddle. anyway back to smith….smith facts..(when he was on top of his game this is)

    1. smith played in one of the best teams in europe
    2. this team was very attack minded
    3. smith was an out and out forward, he had nothing else to his game, he did not beat people, bring others into the game or create goals, let get this right he was more linker not cantona
    4. he played 172 games for this top club while he was at the top of his game
    5. during this time he scored 38 goals. a pretty poor return i think you would all agree linker scored nearly as many in one season (for a poorer team in comparision)

    Then smith left leeds for the best team in the country one of the best in europe (as much as it pains me to say it) while there this out and out goal getter scored 7 in 61 so they took him to midfield battler such was his prowess in goal. he then went newcastle where he scored an amazing 0 goals in 82 games wow what a player (one season in second tier) i know he was played in defensive mid but two points here.

    1. if he was that good they would of played him upfront
    2. batty was a defensive mid and even he scored from time to time one goal in 90 showing far more prowess than smith had

    and to another point do we want him now, he wasnt good then before injury, before time went on. Smith would be ok if he played alongside viduka not somma or painter. or shall we sing him to play at right back as brown is same player and better… who is the retard now krusty…i await a reply????

  • charles

    i agree with horspool. Smith was average at best and this was digused by the great team he played in particualiry Viduka who was true class. I question what job he could do at leeds? i know he is a leeds lad but so am i but i do not want to be in the starting 11 but could do similar job, not saying i am good, more smith is not certainly anymore. Horspool raises some good points and krusty’s argument looks a little flawed and a retard is harsh

  • Matthew

    These Alan Smith rumours are getting silly especially the ones saying he was spotted outside ER in his car and other areas around Leeds, what next him in scotland training with the lads? having dinner with bates? Lol

  • charles

    these rumours are not silly at all and i got proof. i just saw smith outside thorpe arch asking why no leeds players or coaching staff where there asking for 55K a week then jumping on an Asian man. offical from a relaible source honest no lie saw it my self. he then ran off (very slowly) before saying ouch my ankles hurt…HONEST

  • charles

    more on last report…honest offical report…after smith running off he was seen to join woodgate, bowyer, o’leary and robert molenar in yates as all are expected to re-sign for the club with in the next week…honest offical

  • orangina

    LOL idiots but quite funny all the same