AS Roma head coach Paulo Fonseca is desperate to keep on-loan Manchester United defender Chris Smalling for at least another season.
Harry Maguire’s arrival last summer saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with a bloated squad defensively, without much quality it has to be said, and Smalling was sent on his way to Rome.
Smalling wasn’t the worst defender at United and he has shone during his time in Italy, so it’s really no wonder why Fonseca is trying to keep him.
The Roma manager added that Smalling is one of the leaders in the dressing room.
However, Solskjaer has spoken of his expectation that in-form Smalling would return to Old Trafford. Although we did say on the blog at the time that Ole was just trying to boost the centre-back’s value in the transfer market after a good season in Serie A.
“I will do everything I can to keep him at Roma next year too,” Fonseca told ESPN. “I know he wants to stay, let’s see what happens.
“He’s an amazing man, so humble, so professional. He is adored by the fans and established himself as one of he leaders in the dressing room.
“It’s not easy for English central defenders to adapt so quickly to Italian football, the record there isn’t good. But he has been amazing.”
It seems like Smalling has been given a new lease of life this season.
His impressive performances have seen him dubbed ‘Smalldini’ after AC Milan legend Paolo Maldini.
Smalling’s last game for England was in the 2-2 World Cup qualifier against Scotland in June 2017.
And Gareth Southgate has been keeping an eye on him in Italy this season, as per The Sun.