Why Manchester United have done well to keep hold of Chris Smalling
According to a report from the Sky Sports, Manchester United have rejected Everton’s loan offer for defender Chris Smalling.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has seven central defenders in his squad with Chris Smalling and Harry Maguire joined by Victor Lindelof, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Marcos Rojo and Axel Tuanzebe.
Thus, considering it, Everton proposed an offer to Manchester United to sign the England international for a season-long loan spell.
But the Red Devils are not interested in letting go off Chris Smalling, with the report claiming that Solskjaer sees the English centre-back sees him as a part of his defence alongside Maguire and Lindelof next season. And the United boss has done the right thing by keeping hold of Smalling.
Manchester United signed Harry Maguire from Leicester City earlier this week, making the England international the world’s best expensive defender.
It is certain that with the arrival of Maguire this summer and Lindelof apparently nailing down a place in the team last term, Smalling would not be seeing much action on the pitch next campaign.
The 29-year-old made 34 appearances for the Reds last season and was generally Solskjaer’s preferred option in central defence alongside Lindelof in the second half of last season.
Nevertheless, Smalling is currently the longest-serving player at Old Trafford following Antonio Valencia’s departure, having joined United from Fulham back in 2010. In total, he has played 323 times across all competitions for the Mancunian club.
He signed a new £80,000-a-week contract at Old Trafford in December, keeping him at United until June 2022 with the option to extend for a further year.
Solskjaer has already lost Eric Bailly for the next five months, with the Ivorian undergoing knee surgery after picking up the problem during the pre-season friendly against Tottenham in Shanghai.
That has depleted the United boss’ options in central defence and he cannot afford to lose any other players in that position due to injury.
Although, Smalling was part of a number of poor defensive displays for United last season, loaning him out now following Bailly’s long-term injury would have made no sense. The 29-year-old isn’t the most technically gifted of defenders but he would be a solid squad option for Solskjaer.
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The England international is one of the most experienced players in this United side and despite falling behind the likes of Lindelof and Maguire in the pecking order, he could get regular opportunities in cup competitions.
Thus, Solskjaer has done a good job by rejecting Everton’s loan offer for his most experienced defender, Chris Smalling.