TED Smith will return to Southend United this weekend after making a chance appearance for Southampton on Monday.

The goalkeeper, who has played twice for England’s under-18 team featured for the Premier League club’s under-21s against Everton.

His outing for Southampton came while he was at the club to regain some fitness and gain experience with top level goalkeepers.

With injuries to their other under-21 goalkeepers, bosses at Southampton received permission from Shrimpers manager Phil Brown to play in Monday’s 3-1 loss.

Brown said Smith, who has been called up to England’s under-18 squad for their upcoming match with Germany, will now return to Roots Hall after his week on the south coast.

Brown said: “It was a win-win situation for Ted, training in fantastic conditions at Southampton, and a win-win situation for the club.

“Dan Bentley did something similar last season, and look how we’ve reaped the benefits of that this season with 17 clean sheets.

“Ted has a very promising future in the game and I see that future with Southend United. To say his future is in doubt would be wrong.”

Earlier this year the former King John School pupil was given his first professional contract.

He will join up with the national squad on April 12 ahead of their game against Germany in Rotherham four days later.