It’s surprising how much Chris Smalling’s reputation has improved since he made the move to Roma. He became a bit of a joke figure towards the end of his spell at Old Trafford and needed to move.
His form has been so impressive that it’s not impossible to see him returning to play for Manchester United next season. He is in his 30’s so maybe can’t be seen as a long term option, but he could form an effective partnership with Harry Maguire.
It remains to be seen if the United fans would accept him back to play a major role, they might expect some investment and a higher profile option in that area, but it certainly looks like an option.
It seems a bit bizarre to see Smalling in the headlines for his attacking presence but his goal today enabled him to match the record held by another former United hero in David Beckham:
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) November 24, 2019
There’s no sign or talk of a possible recall to Manchester in January so it’s probably the case that the loan agreement with Roma doesn’t allow it.
It will be interesting to see what happens with him next season. There doesn’t seem to be a fee agreed for Roma to sign him permanently, but United may still decide it’s best to cash in rather than bring him back to play in a back up role.
He’s certainly not doing his reputation any harm with several impressive performances.