Smalling open to lengthy Italian stay

AS Roma

Chris Smalling admits his long-term future might be in Italy after moving from Manchester United to Roma on a season-long loan deal.

Having joined the Red Devils in January 2010, the England defender has made 206 appearances for the Old Trafford giants, scoring 12 goals while he has also earned 31 England caps.

However, he has fallen down the pecking order under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and, taking the Norwegian’s hint that he would not see too much game time in the current campaign, moved to Serie A for more action.

The former Fulham man has yet to make an appearance for his new club but confessed that he did not have to think twice about making the move.

“This is an opportunity that came to me that I was very interested in, and I was very eager to come,” he told the Daily Mail.

“It happened very quickly and now I focus on the next game, getting up to speed with training in terms of the manager’s methods and then hopefully have a very good season.”



It remains to be seen if the Londoner does have a future at the Theatre of Dreams, with Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof the first-choice central defenders at present.

And Smalling hinted that he is not against a long stay in Serie A.

“To be able to have the chance at a big club, and then if it prolongs and the club is happy then I can definitely see a longer-term future in Italy,” he added.