Three Possible Destinations For Chris Smalling
Victor Lindelof’s transfer to Manchester United essentially spells the end for Chris Smalling at Old Trafford, with Bailly and the ex Benfica man likely to partner each other at the heart of the defence for the foreseeable future. Smalling would be an excellent backup but with the World Cup looming and his first team prospects all but over, a move away from the Theatre of Dreams looks like the best option right now.
After an excellent 2015-16 season, it looked like Smalling finally came close to fulfilling the potential that Sir Alex saw in him. But a rather mediocre season under new manager Jose Mourinho, where his frustrating inconsistencies once again surfaced, it looks like he will be leaving the club. Here are 3 possible destinations for the Englishman.
With Phil Jagielka turning 35 by the time the season starts, a centre-back will be high on Koeman’s priority list. Everton have shown a stern desire this summer so far by signing Davy Klaasen from Ajax and Jordan Pickford from Sunderland. As per Telegraph, Michael Keane is Koeman’s first-choice but his asking price could scupper a potential deal.
With Smalling available for around half the price, Smalling is probably the better signing, having been a title winner, along with experience in the Champions League and a starter for the national team. Ashley Williams was a constant in Koeman’s XI and the Welshman could form a formidable partnership with Smalling.
Also, Everton finishing 7th guarantees them Europa League football which would allow Smalling to still play in Europe, albeit in the second tier competition. Smalling’s wages should not affect Everton much either, and it is a move that makes sense for all parties involved.
West Ham United
The Hammers failed to build on a very promising first season under Slaven Bilic, flirting with relegation for a while before finishing 11th. Almost all summer signings failed, and Jose Fonte, a winter addition, failed to live up to expectations. Needless to say, West Ham do need reinforcements in the central defence area.
Winston Reid had a great individual campaign and he should keep his place, and adding the Manchester United vice-captain would be a smart move. Still 27, Smalling would be a younger and a better replacement, and at a fee that would be affordable. He represents a very good value for money especially for a player who’s played 243 times for the Red Devils and is entering his peak now.
Newcastle achieved promotion in style under Rafa Benitez and now, the Spaniard must set his sights on reinforcing his squad with top quality additions to ensure the Magpies make a smooth transition from the Championship to the Premier League, starting from the back four. Chris Smalling has been deemed surplus to requirements and the Toons’ boss must do absolutely everything to get him to St. James’ Park.
Mbemba didn’t have the best of seasons in the Championship and Smalling would provide an immense upgrade and he could form a solid partnership with Ciaran Clark. Not just his qualities, but his vast experience having won 2 Premier League titles, one FA Cup trophy, an EFL Cup trophy, and a Europa League medal. A player of his calibre will help boost the squad and improve the mentality of the team.