Chris Smalling seems to be settling into life over in Italy with his loan move to Roma proving to be a blessing for the Greenwich born defender. However, a fresh start was needed for a player who was deemed surplus to requirements at Manchester United by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Smalling was an extremely divisive figure among a huge portion of Manchester United’s fanbase. The defenders final few seasons at the club produced consistently poor performances with an occasional sprinkle of good which lead to the fans questioning whether he was a centre back good enough to lead the club into what was hoped to be the next generation of success.
Poor defending and lack of intelligence on the pitch being repeated too often, it was a matter of time before an improvement in the heart of the defence was a necessity. The arrival of Harry Maguire made Smalling start to question whether he would get enough minutes in the first team this season and decided a move away from Manchester would be a smart decision.
A move to Roma beckoned and Chris Smalling moved abroad for a new challenge which would be out of his comfort zone and a whole new language to learn. A challenge he was willing to accept and looking forward to.
Smalling’s performances at Roma this season have been nothing short of brilliant. He has been an utter revelation for Roma’s defence and has secured his spot in the first team XI and getting his first goal for the club in a 4-0 win against Udinese. The 29-year-old has certainly found that spark in his performances which make him almost unrecognisable in comparison to the showings he was sometimes putting on for his parent club.
He appears to be enjoying his time in Italy after starting 8 successive Serie A games in which only two have ended in a defeat. His defensive displays have helped Roma to a respectable 6th in the league after only 12 games and are very much in the hunt for the coveted fourth spot and give the Rome club a return to Champions league football.
Whilst it still being very early on in his loan move, reports are suggesting that the Italian giants want to turn the former England defender’s loan move into a permanent one with it being quoted they can recruit the defender for £18 million. So early in the season and his performances earning plaudits and even talk of a permanent transfer, it is clear he has been brilliant in his time in Italy so far.
Smalling has been at Manchester United since 2010 and has a contract that runs until 2022, however, it appears that the Manchester club are willing to let Chris leave in a deal that they believe would suit both parties.
Chris Smalling has been a good servant for Manchester United having a home that I am sure is laden with winner’s medals and memories that most could only dream of at a club where he spent 9 years. Winning multiple trophies in the twilight of Ferguson’s years and continuing to do so in LVG and Mourinho era’s, he has had a great career in Manchester, however, it is time for both parties to agree to call it a day and move on from each other.
Rejuvenating his career and enjoying football again was important for Chris and Manchester United investing in a better player is what United needed to get back to the top of the English and European football and if a bid was to come in from Roma, it would make sense to accept the bid.