Smalling’s mak­ing a big im­pres­sion on Roma fans

Manchester Evening News - - SPORT - By CHAR­LOTTE DUNCKER

UNITED de­fender Chris Smalling nar­rowly missed out on be­ing named in Roma’s team of the decade af­ter im­press­ing at the start of his loan spell.

The cen­tre-back has been in Se­rie A since the start of the cam­paign af­ter Ole Gun­nar Sol­sk­jaer deemed him sur­plus to re­quire­ments and he has been en­joy­ing him­self in the Ital­ian cap­i­tal.

Smalling has be­come a reg­u­lar un­der Paulo Fon­seca, start­ing 12 times in the league and grab­bing two goals and an as­sist along the way and he’s made him­self a fan favourite.

The club’s of­fi­cial Twit­ter ac­count ran a poll try­ing to pick the best XI from the last 10 years and Smalling very nearly made the cut at cen­tre­back.

There were close to 7,000 vot­ers in the cen­tre-back poll which was won by Kostas Manolas, who was at the club for five years be­tween 2014-2019.

How­ever, it was a close call as he only beat Smalling by three per cent de­spite the fact the United de­fender has only been at the club for four months.

The other two op­tions in the poll, who fin­ished be­hind Smalling, were Juan and Medhi Be­na­tia.

Roma team man­ager Mor­gan De Sanc­tis con­firmed the club are try­ing to turn Smalling’s loan into a per­ma­nent deal ear­lier this month.

“It is well known we are try­ing to find a so­lu­tion that makes ev­ery­one happy,” De Sanc­tis said.

“We are in no rush, we want to get this right, and can also rely on the player, who said he is happy at Roma.”

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