According to Sky Sports, Manchester United centre-back, Chris Smalling is set to join Italian club Roma on-loan until next summer. The Giallorossi are reportedly set to pay a loan fee of around £2.7million to sign the defender. The report states that Smalling visited United’s training ground early today and is now expected to head to the Italian capital to undergo a medical.
This move has come from nowhere
This a move that has seemingly come from nowhere. The 29-year-old has
been pushed down the centre-back pecking order with the arrival of
Harry Maguire this summer. However, it appeared that United wanted to
keep hold of Smalling this summer after they rebuffed a loan offer from
north west rivals Everton near the end of the Premier League deadline.
Maybe the Red Devils just didn’t want to loan Smalling to a fellow
Premier League club, or even a team that could threaten their position
in the leagues top-six. Either way a move abroad for Smalling is even
Smalling has had mixed fortunes at United
In truth, Chris Smalling has enjoyed mixed fortunes at United in his
nine years with the club. At times he has appeared to be a rock at the
back for United. At other times he has proven a liability for the Red
United fans have waited and waited for Smalling to return to full
fitness and find consistent. The truth is that Smalling may never be a
consistent performer and he may always have a mistake in him. He has
just never really fulfilled his early promise as a youngster at Fulham.
At one point he looked set to cement his place in the heart of both
the Red Devils defence and England’s defence. However, injuries have
hampered his development and career. Maybe without the injuries, he
would have done more during his Manchester United career. Smalling at
this point is looking to revive his stop-start career in recent seasons.
If he stayed at Manchester United, he would be behind the
aforementioned Maguire and Victor Lindelof in the pecking order. United
boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer also has the likes of Eric Bailly, Phil Jones
and Marcos Rojo available to him as centre-back options.
The latter may leave before the European transfer window shuts, but
that still leaves five senior centre-backs competing for two starting
A move Roma looks like a good one for Smalling on paper too. The
style of the league may well suit him and he could well play more games
with the Giallorossi, after the summer sale of Kostas Manolas to Napoli.
Roma outsiders for the Champions League spots
Smalling’s potential new club Roma have been there or thereabout in the European spots in Serie A for what seems like forever. However, this season the Giallorossi are odds of 2/ 1 to make the Champions League this season.
The arrival of Smalling is unlikely to improve Roma’s chances of
making the Champions League spots that much. However, he may prove to be
a decent, experience option for Paulo Fonseca’s team.
This seems like an unusual move around if it goes through. Hopefully,
for everybody’s case the move proves to be a success, including his
parent club Manchester United, who have seemingly deemed him surplus to
Will Chris Smalling be a success at Roma?