X

Monday 16
September

Manchester United

Smalling set for Serie A experience

29th August 2019, 14:11 by Tom McGarry

English players have had limited success in Serie A over recent years, but Chris Smalling will be hoping to buck that trend if he joins Roma.

English players have had limited success in Serie A over recent years, but Chris Smalling will be hoping to buck that trend if he joins Roma.

Manchester United defender Smalling is being heavily linked with a season-long loan move to the Stadio Olimpico and if he were to join the Giallorossi then he would become the third Englishman to be currently plying his trade in Serie A alongside Juventus youngster Stephy Mavididi and Sampdoria midfielder Ronaldo Vieira.

While Mavididi and Vieira are still at the development stages of their careers, it is fair to say Smalling, who only signed a new deal with United last summer, would be expected to have an immediate impact on the Roma first team.

Smalling is certainly capable of becoming a pivotal figure in Paulo Fonseca’s side, although the recent record of senior English players in Italy would suggest that he may have his work cut out.

Over the last few years, Joe Hart, Ashley Cole and Micah Richards have all spent unmemorable spells in Serie A, with the latter two only making a combined 18 starts between them during their time with Roma and Fiorentina respectively.

Even Hart’s stint at Torino was fleeting, as, although he was the regular first choice during his time at the Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino, they ultimately opted against making the move permanent.

A theme with a number of English players that have played in Serie A is they do not hang around for long, this has been particularly true over recent years, with Jay Bothroyd, Danny Dichio and Lee Sharpe all enduring short uninspiring spells with Perugia, Lecce and Sampdoria respectively.

Indeed, arguably the last Englishman to enjoy success in Serie A was Paul Ince, who impressed during a two-season spell with Inter Milan in the mid-1990s, while David Platt did the rare thing of playing for multiple Italian clubs, most notably as he helped Juventus lift the UEFA Cup in 1993.

The most memorable Englishman to play in Italy over the last 30 years has to be Paul Gascoigne, who enjoyed a great relationship with the Lazio fans during his three years with the club, although he didn’t always receive the same positive attention from the local media.

During the 1980s players such as Ray Wilkins and Mark Hately flew the English flag in Serie A with AC Milan and both players are still remembered fondly by fans of the Rossoneri.

So, while there is a precedent for English players to succeed in Serie A, if Smalling does head to Italy then he will have to buck a trend that has seen many of his compatriots struggle over recent years.

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Tom McGarry completed his sports journalist degree in 2011,and has since has become an integral part of the editorial and audio team. He is passionate about all things sport, particularly football, and is a lifelong supporter of his hometown club Carlisle United.

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.