Man Utd’s Smalling prepares for long-term future at Roma

Date published: Friday 6th September 2019 3:13

Chris Smalling Manchester United

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling can see himself staying in Italy after his loan deal with Roma expires.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has an abundance of centre-backs to choose from after Harry Maguire arrived from Leicester City in an £80million deal in the summer.

That meant Smalling was allowed to leave Old Trafford on loan despite Solskjaer reportedly blocking a deal that would have seen the defender leave the club on transfer deadline day.

The England international was officially presented to the media on Friday morning as a Roma player and Smalling admits he can see himself staying in Italy.

“This is an opportunity that came to me that I was very interested in, and I was very eager to come,” Smalling said.

“It happened very quickly and now I focus on the next game, getting up to speed with training in terms of the manager’s methods and then hopefully have a very good season.

“To be able to have the chance at a big club, and then if it prolongs and the club is happy then I can definitely see a longer-term future in Italy.”

Smalling added: “I’ve always had a desire deep down to experience this and have an opportunity to come to a big club who has got big aspirations.

“There is a lot of responsibility on the defence as a whole [in Italy] and the centre-backs too, but that is something I enjoy.

“I like to push up high, play high up the pitch, and the manager wants us to be high. I am a defender that likes to defend on the front foot so I think this is the perfect type of football for me and hopefully it allows me to show my real qualities.

“I don’t want to live my life with regrets and to be able to experience this and build on this journey, it’s something I’m really looking forward to.”

 

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