Smalling leaves United after nine years

Smalling leaves United after nine years

Another exit loan at Old Trafford as Chris Smalling will change shirts after nine years and will represent Roma this season. This is the second big-name outgoing loan from United, as Alexis Sanchez joined Inter.

The English centre-back, who was utilized at the right-back position throughout his career, has reinforced the Serie A side in a deal that saw the Red Devils receive €3,000,000. There is no agreed future fee.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed that Smalling wasn't in his first-team plans as he has enough healthy centre-backs and the 29-year-old decided to move.

"As soon as I heard the interest was there, the chance to experience a new league with a big team that has got big aspirations is what I needed. I’m lucky enough to be here now. There started to be a few rumours not too long ago, and it got me interested - but you are never too sure whether it is true or not. Then once I heard it was concrete I wanted to talk and get it wrapped up very quickly," started the Englishman.

Serie A has been rejuvenated this summer and that didn't miss the players' eyes as well.

"Growing up obviously you want to play in the Premier League, but deep down I also had that aspiration to play abroad. I think how amazing everything at the club is. The attention to detail with everything, the quality of the pitches, the media centre, the facilities."

Smalling also said his farewell to United fans, claiming that he had to leave in order to get the minutes he had when he first joined United. 

The centre-back will now work with Paulo Fonseca at Roma, where he will try to replace Kostas Manolas, who went to Napoli earlier this summer.

"As soon as you hear about a club’s interest, you want to speak to the manager and hear the technical side of how he sees the team fitting, and how he sees you fitting, and everything else. I have the experience and if you want to play that high line then you do need defenders with pace, so hopefully, I can slot straight in," said Smalling.

Roma had other deals too. Gregoire Defre returns to Sassuolo on a €3,000,000 loan with an obligation to buy for €9,000,000 plus two million in bonuses. Goalkeeper Robin Olsen also left and joined Cagliari on loan, without clauses.


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