Italy is fast becoming a haven not only to Gangsters of the old but to struggling Premier League players as well. The media is covering the apparent shifting of Premier League stars to the Italian league with hidden glee. Inter bought Romelu Lukaku and Ashley Young last season from Manchester United. They also announced a permanent deal for Alexis Sanchez recently. This time the radar has shifted on to Chris Smalling.
Smalling has reportedly become a target for the Blue giants of Milan who have already included several Premier League stars in their ranks.
The Antonio Conte coached side have reportedly turned their attention to Smalling after monitoring his stellar performances on loan for their Italian Rivals AS Roma.
Inter’s first target to shore up their struggling defense was Fiorentina’s Centre Back Nikola Milenkovic but La Viola’s high demands for the Serbian international have led to Inter thinking about a move for Smalling. The English defender spent the 2019/20 season on loan at fellow Serie A side Roma after falling down the pecking order in the Ole Gunnar Solksjaer lead Manchester United.
The Englishman was also a target for his current side AS Roma, though the price quoted by Manchester United of a total of €25 million, including add-ons, from Roma was too much for the Giallorossi.
Standing at 6’4, Smalling has been a revelation for Roma this season and has ]easily been one of the best defenders in Serie A this season. With Inter Milan conceding too many goals from a set-piece this season, the signing of Chris Smalling would help a lot in improving in this direction.
Smalling also poses more of a physical threat, key in both defending and attacking set-pieces. Smalling has won more headers than anyone on the pitch for Roma and made more interceptions than anybody else too. The defensive nature of the game in Italy has also taught him to relish marking the strikers who shift inside every time the ball goes wide.
With the phenomenal success of so many English imports into the Italian league, This transfer would be a win-win situation for both sides involved.
United need to clear their books for their planned new signings whereas Antonio Conte needs a new center-back who has the experience of Italian football and has a good command on the art of aerial defending which has been ignored for some time by the coaches of the present modern-day football.
This could be a match made in heaven if Inter match the €25m asking price. Free cash for United to fund other transfers, better project and game time for Smalling and a decent experienced defender for Conte’s Inter.