REPORT: Manchester United Defender Chris Smalling Set For Move To Roma

Chris Smalling
BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 16: Chris Smalling of Manchester United looks on during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final second leg match between FC Barcelona and Manchester United at Camp Nou on April 16, 2019 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is set for a move to Serie A side Roma, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano. The 29-year-old will join on a season-long loan.

Manchester United Defender Chris Smalling To Join Roma

Fallen out of Favour

Chris Smalling has fallen down the pecking order at Old Trafford since the arrival of Harry Maguire in the summer. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is well-stocked in the centre of defence, and Smalling does not fit into his plans.

Last season the 29-year-old made 32 appearances in all competitions, including eight in United’s run to the Champions League quarter-finals. Only Victor Lindelof made more appearances last season in central defence than Chris Smalling.

However, Smalling’s first team chances are now under threat due to the arrival of Maguire. The world’s most expensive defender is now first choice alongside Lindelof, and Solskjaer has several other options to pick from. As a result, the former Fulham youngster has chosen to leave Old Trafford.

A Move to Roma Offers Chris Smalling a Fresh Start

Roma will be Smalling’s third club as a professional, having moved to Manchester United from Fulham in 2010. The opportunity to move to Roma offers the chance for a fresh start.

The 29-year-old is likely to be first choice at centre-back this season for the Italian side. Roma began the season with a 3-3 draw at home to Genoa, and started with a pairing of Federico Fazio and Juan Jesus. However, Smalling’s Premier League experience will put him in good stead for a regular starting place.

Roma manager Paulo Fonesca has already added two central defenders to his squad this summer. Chris Smalling joins Gianluca Mancini as a fellow loan signing, while Mert Cetin has arrived at the Stadio Olimpico on a permanent deal. As a result, Smalling faces tough competition for a place in the starting 11.

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