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Man Utd must give Smalling a chance rather than going for Skriniar

Despite being repeatedly linked to new attackers ahead of the summer transfer window, the one area that Manchester United seemingly need to improve is their defence.

The Red Devils have had no problem finding the back of the net since the restart, scoring 12 goals in their last four games, but defensive lapses are still there to be exploited.

Handing Bournemouth a route back into the game due to Eric Bailly giving away a silly penalty could have cost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team points had they not been so clinical going forward, and conceding an injury-time equaliser to Southampton is what currently stands between them and a top-four spot.

United fans will be glad to know that they’ve been linked to a £43.2m-rated centre-back this week, with reports circulating that Inter Milan are willing to offer the 20-time champions of England a swap deal involving Milan Skriniar for Anthony Martial.

Skriniar would seemingly bolster the United backline, he’s started 28 league games for a team with the best defensive record in a league famed for its defensive prowess, but is it worth sacrificing their top scorer for him when there could be a player just as good already on the books?

Of course, we’re talking about Chris Smalling.

The 30-year-old has seen a bit of a career resurgence over in Italy, and due to the fact he’s playing in the same league as Skriniar it’s very easy to compare the two.

The Englishman does make fewer tackles per game, but he trumps the Inter man when it comes to interceptions, clearances, catching people offside, making blocks and being dribbled past.

In fact, the 31-cap ace is dribbled past six-times more often than Smalling, and in a league where most teams have incredibly pacy attackers, that could be very costly if United want to bring him in.

Signing defenders from Serie A is always going to be fashionable due to the reputation that league has, but United’s loanee has shown he can hang with the best of them in Italy, and he has more than earnt his chance at another shot at Old Trafford, especially when one of the alternatives is swapping Martial for a defender who has been statistically outperformed by Smalling this term.

Article title: Man Utd must give Smalling a chance rather than going for Skriniar

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