Chris Smalling Set To Be Handed England Debut

Wembley boss backs Old Trafford  starlet.

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England manager Fabio Capello would have no problem handing Chris Smalling his full international debut in Sofia tonight.

The Manchester United defender looks set to win the battle with Micah Richards and Phil Jagielka to fill the right-back role for the Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria.

It is a bold move on Capello’s part given Smalling had hardly any experience in the role before being tried out on United’s pre-season tour of North America.

But the 21-year-old has made the position his own in recent games during the Community Shield and the Red Devils’ three-match winning start to the new Premier League season.

Capello could not be more gushing in his praise of Smalling, who as recently as March 2008 was plying his trade in non-league football with Maidstone.

“He surprised me when he played at Wembley in the Community Shield against Manchester City,” said Capello.

“He played well. In fact, the four games that he’s played at right-back, he’s played really well.

“I always saw him play in central defence before. He is playing with confidence. He has improved and improved.”

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