When Harry Maguire made his big-money arrival from Leicester earlier in the summer, there were bound to be casualties in the centre-back department at Manchester United.
The Red Devils had a plethora of players who could play in central defence, and in the end, it was Chris Smalling who had to make way. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer even remarked that it was in the England international’s best interests to leave Old Trafford in search of first-team football.
He said: “At the moment we have six fit centre-backs and I couldn’t promise Chris regular football and he’s on the plane over now.”
The 29-year-old joined AS Roma on a season-long loan, and has appeared to revitalise his career over in Italy. He has averaged an impressive 1.5 tackles and 1.5 interceptions per game in Serie A, and on Wednesday night, the Englishman got on the score-sheet for Roma as they clinched a fine 4-0 victory against Udinese.
After seeing the centre-back’s goal-scoring display, United fans flooded to Twitter to voice their thoughts on the performance of their loanee.
Many supporters of the Manchester side revealed their satisfaction at seeing him succeed in the early months of his Roma career.
Check out some of the reaction of United fans below:
You're turning him into prime Maldini again, appreciate it lads
— Joakim Gray (@JoakimGray) October 30, 2019
Mike Smalling 👊
— ⚽ MUFC Insight ⚽ (@MUFCEssex) October 31, 2019
Smalling back 😉
— Bailey 🔰 (@BaileyMUFC) October 30, 2019
MY CENTRE BACKKKKK pic.twitter.com/XDm2wKeVsi
— conor (@unitedberba) October 30, 2019
— Jared MUFC (@UtdFan1991) October 31, 2019
I miss him. I can't believe we send him out on loan but kept Phil Jones. Happy for Smalling.
— 🦊 Raynard 🦊 (@CharCharpierre) October 30, 2019