Belfast Telegraph

Linfield should give QPR target Smyth his big chance, says former manager

By Graham Luney

Former Linfield manager Roy Coyle says he hopes the Blues can strike a deal that will see young star Paul Smyth move to Queens Park Rangers.

The Championship side have made a second bid for the 19-year-old - who wants to progress to the professional game - but the Blues are reluctant to let go of their precocious young talent while striker Andy Waterworth recovers from a knee injury.

Linfield also insist that any offer which falls short of their valuation of the player will not be taken seriously and have already dismissed a bid of close to £60,000 from Crawley Town.

Coyle, who won 31 trophies as Linfield boss, feels if Smyth doesn't land a dream move now it may not happen in the future.

"My view is that it would be wrong to deny a lad that age an opportunity to become a professional footballer," said Coyle.

"These chances don't come along often in life and a footballer's career is short. If Linfield can agree a deal with QPR or another club, Paul will relish the opportunity. You also never know how a player will react mentally if the chance comes and goes. He might think his chance is gone and he could go off the boil.”

Blues boss David Healy joked after the 4-0 win at Dungannon Swifts: “QPR have made an offer but we are probably holding out for £1m.”

Northern Ireland’s record goalscorer added that he would continue to select Smyth, who is under contract until May 2019.

“He’s a brilliant kid, he went out and scored a vital goal,” said Healy. “Unless teams come up with our sort of valuation, he will remain a Linfield player.”

Glentoran Director of Football Coyle believes Healy is the perfect man to steer Smyth in the right direction should a move happen. Coyle, who won 10 league titles at Windsor Park, said: “David was hugely successful in his career, particularly at international level, and if Paul wants the right advice he should listen to his manager.

“Paul could not have a better tutor. If the clubs can agree a fee and the player wants to move then things will develop. Linfield will do what is right for them while keeping in mind the player’s wishes. From what I have seen of Paul there is no question he has a bright club and international career ahead of him.

“David would be minus a very good striker but the transfer window is still open.

“But you’ve got to have more than ability to make it as a professional. You must have mental toughness and be confident without the arrogance. I hope he gets his opportunity.”

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