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Man United defender makes surprising claim; challenges teammates, but may yet be replaced

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has backed himself to be among the fastest players at the club.

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As reported by the Express, Red Devils striker James Wilson recently identified Smalling as the fastest player at Old Trafford.

While the England defender didn’t argue that he was the number one speedster at the club, he has backed himself in a race against the fast majority of the squad.

“I’d say I would back myself against the majority (of players at United),” he began, as reported by the Express, “whether it be 5-10 meters or 40 meters to be honest.

“It might surprise a few people, but I think if you ask most they wouldn’t want to race me,” he boasted.

“Who else is up there? Wilo (James Wilson), Angel is and I’d probably say Youngy is as well – they’re all speedsters,” he continued, listing his rivals for the titled of ‘fastest man at Old Trafford’.

“We haven’t really (raced each other),” he continued, “when we do warm up we do 5-10 meter sprints, but generally in four or fives so it’s not an actual race.

“But hopefully, come pre-season, we can put that to bed and have a race. I’m game for that.”

The 25-year-old defender is coming off the back of an encouraging campaign for the Red Devils, where he scored four goals in 25 appearances, helping United to the Champions League places. Louis van Gaal’s side also preserved the fourth-best scoring record in the division.

However, it appears the Dutch coach still wants improvement and has been linked with a whole host of defensive players this summer.

Sergio Ramos, of Real Madrid, has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford, and has intimated that he wants to leave the Bernabeu. John Stones of Everton [Daily Mail], as well as, Mats Hummels [Metro] , Nicolas Otamendi [Daily Mail] and Ramos’s Real teammate Raphael Varane [Express] have all been linked to the club.

It remains to be seen to what extent any of these additions would jeopardise Smalling’s place in the team.

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