X

Monday 16
September

Manchester United

Smalling relishing Roma experience

31st August 2019, 11:53 by Craig Smithson

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is looking forward to experiencing a new league after joining Roma on a season-long loan.

The 29-year-old was told by United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he could not guarantee him regular first-team football this season because of fellow England defender Harry Maguire – an £80million summer signing – and Sweden international Victor Lindelof’s partnership.

Therefore, Smalling, who signed a new deal until 2022 in December, is set to spend the campaign at the Serie A club.

“This is the perfect opportunity for me,” he told Roma’s website. “The chance to experience a new league, with a big team that has got big aspirations is exactly what I needed.”

He added on Twitter: “Manchester – the club, the people, the city, has always held a special place in my heart but I still have as much desire to play regular first team football as I did when I joined the club over 9 years ago.”

Smalling’s exit ends a near 10-year spell at Old Trafford after he joined the club from Fulham in summer 2010 having signed a pre-contract agreement in the previous January.

He had only made 13 Premier League appearances and helped the Cottagers reach the UEFA Cup final before moving to United as then boss Sir Alex Ferguson clearly saw something in the youngster’s abilities.

Smalling has gone on to make 323 appearances for the Red Devils, scoring 18 goals in the process.

He has won two Premier League titles, an FA Cup, a League Cup, a UEFA Europa League and three Community Shields with the club.

Smalling made his senior debut for England in the Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria in September 2011 and has gone on to make 31 appearances.

However, he has yet to feature in current boss Gareth Southgate’s plans with his last appearance for the Three Lions coming back in 2017.

Therefore, a move to Italy could also help him resurrect his international career in addition to boosting his longer term plans of being a regular in the United team once again.

Smalling should get regular football in Rome given that they sold Greece centre-back Konstantinos Manolas to Napoli for £32million.

Speaking about the deal to sign him, Roma sporting director Gianluca Petrachi said: “We are pleased to bring a player like Chris, who has so much experience, to Roma.”

Smalling follows Romelu Lukaku, Alexis Sanchez, Antonio Valencia and Ander Herrera as the fifth high-profile departure from United this summer as Solskjaer continues his squad rebuilding work.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Craig Smithson is a journalist with over two decades of experience at the keyboard. A life-long Middlesbrough fan, Craig has an in-depth knowledge of all football and is also a keen fan of boxing amongst other sports.

More Manchester United

Manchester United

Matic ready for first-team battle at Manchester United

16th September 2019, 11:34

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic says he will not become disruptive in the dressing room as he tries to win his place back.

Manchester United

Solskjaer happy with the points but not performance as Reds edge past Foxes

15th September 2019, 06:25

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was not happy with Manchester United’s performance against Leicester City, but was just glad to get back to winning ways.

Manchester United

Why de Gea new deal could actually hasten United exit

14th September 2019, 12:20

David de Gea has finally agreed a new, five-year contract at Manchester United, according to reports on Saturday, but does that mean he will be sticking around?

Manchester United

Solskjaer talks up Maguire’s captaincy credentials

13th September 2019, 16:47

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has indicated he sees summer buy Harry Maguire as a future Old Trafford captain.

Manchester United

Solskjaer keen to see De Gea make long-term United commitment

13th September 2019, 13:51

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says he wants to see David de Gea remain at Manchester United for the rest of his career following more speculation over his future.

Manchester United

Juve eye Matic as Pogba alternative

13th September 2019, 11:16

Nemanja Matic has reportedly been identified by Juventus as a possible alternative if they are unable to broker a return for Paul Pogba to Turin.

Recent Sport Headlines

Barcelona

Barca lining up swoop for Reds ace

16th September 2019, 13:02

Barcelona are reported to be showing an interest in Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk and could make their move at the end of the season.

Manchester City

De Bruyne insists title race still wide open

16th September 2019, 13:02

Manchester City midfielder Kevin de Bruyne has warned Liverpool not to get carried away despite leading by five points.

Rangers

Injured Kent backed for flying return

16th September 2019, 12:34

Ryan Kent is set to be sidelined “for at least a few weeks” due to injury but team-mate Andy Halliday has backed him to return to top form quickly.

Tottenham Hotspur

Aurier now ‘happy’ to stay with Spurs

16th September 2019, 12:32

Serge Aurier claims his "happy to stay" at Tottenham after admitting a "personal situation" was the reason he asked to leave in the summer.

Celtic

Lennon confirms Celtic’s interest in Tottenham ace Wanyama

16th September 2019, 12:04

Celtic manager Neil Lennon has revealed he wanted to sign Tottenham's Victor Wanyama in the summer.

Norwich City

Reports in Finland: Canaries to be inundated with Christmas bids for ‘Santa’ Pukki

16th September 2019, 12:02

Christmas has come early for Norwich fans with the form of Teemu Pukki boosting City's survival hopes, but sources in Finland believe bids will be made for him.

Manchester United

Matic ready for first-team battle at Manchester United

16th September 2019, 11:34

Manchester United midfielder Nemanja Matic says he will not become disruptive in the dressing room as he tries to win his place back.

Inter Milan

Pundit axed over Lukaku ‘bananas’ comment

16th September 2019, 11:34

An Italian TV football pundit has been axed after making a racist comment about Romelu Lukaku.