According to various reports today, Chris Smalling could be on his way to the Giallorossi. We were led to believe that a fee had been agreed a few weeks ago, but it has been reported that United were holding out for more. It turns out, United will accept less than £20 million which was reported by various outlets today.
Manchester United were understood to be holding out for a minimum of £20 million, but Roma have come back with an improved offer of £18 million. This will also include a series of related bonuses on top of this fee. This in hindsight for a thirty-year-old, would be an incredible bit of business from Ed – First time for everything, although after Donny, he is on a roll!
Many questioned whether Smalling would perhaps be a good partner beside Harry Maguire. I think Ole has his own desires and believes that void should be filled by somebody else. Following a switch to the Serie A, Chris gained some much-needed respect and was an absolute stalwart in their defense. In thirty-seven games this season across the domestic league, Europa, and the Coppa Italia. Chris conceded a total of forty-one goals.
According to WhoScored, he was awarded some very respectable ratings of 7.00, 6.75, and 6.97 across all three competitions, respectively. He managed to score three goals and all three of these goals came in the Serie A campaign.
Some other stats which I perceive as commendable were the following. He made 0.9 tackles, 1.9 interceptions, committed 1.1 fouls, won 0.7 offsides, made 3.9 clearances, and an average of 1.1 blocks per game. Surprisingly, he did not manage a single own goal. (Sorry Chris!)
His best season in a United shirt was arguably during his campaign in which Luis Van Gaal was at the helm. This was in the 2015/16 season. He made thirty-five appearances, winning seventeen and losing nine. During this season he also kept seventeen clean sheets.
Hopefully, what this would mean from a United standpoint, is the funds that are accumulated from this sale can be used for a center-back. Their interest in another center-half has been widely publicized in the news recently. Upamecano would be great, but who knows. As we have seen already in the last couple of days, they may have someone in mind, and this could surprise us all.
Chris has been a great servant to the club, with some lows, but also some incredible moments. He will be sorely missed and I for one, wish him all the best.