Signed from Fulham in 2010, Chris Smalling is one of the most experienced and the longest-serving players in the current Manchester United squad. The two-time Premier League winner has been a constant presence in the United backline.
However, things changed for the English international when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer arrived at Old Trafford. Although he featured heavily in the 18/19 campaign under the then temporary boss, Smalling was set to lose his starting spot upon the arrival of Harry Maguire in the subsequent transfer window.
Smalling eventually left the club and looked for opportunities elsewhere. He moved out to Roma on loan. This move seemed to be the end of the defender’s time playing at the highest level but instead, it has been the complete opposite for the United cast-out.
Smalling instantly became a starter for the Italian outfit, clocking in over 2500 minutes in 30 appearances for the team. Many have called it a reclamation season for the English centre-back as he seems to have found his form in what is arguably his best season on a personal level. The defender put up a career-high 75% tackle success rate and was only dribbled past on three occasions.
All of his defensive statistics put him up amongst the most effective centre-backs In Europe this particular season. Naturally, AS Roma wanted to extend the defender’s loan period but the offer was rejected by United who are only looking to sell.
Smalling is 30 and it seems like a correct call by Solskjaer to offload him. Roma are interested but their finances are tight. Inter Milan have started talks too. Smalling would want to come back to Old Trafford but he shouldn’t. Ole wants a youthful side and it is no guarantee that Smalling could replicate his splendid form in Premier League.
Don’t fix what is not broken. Smalling should stay in the Italian league and United should be raising funds for younger acquisitions.