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Manchester United must rue selling Chris Smalling

Manchester United have made some poor decisions ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired back in 2013, especially in the transfer market.

Splashing out on the likes of Angel Di Maria and Harry Maguire are perfect examples of the club spending extraordinary amounts of money for little or no return, although, especially over the course of the last 12 months, it appears one of the biggest mistakes made by the club has been to sell a player that is currently shining away from England.

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Chris Smalling was sold by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2020 for £18m to AS Roma following a successful loan spell and it has proved to be a terrible move, especially with the club’s defensive record.

Man United conceded 57 goals in the Premier League last season, 14 more than Roma did in Serie A, with Smalling starring under Jose Mourinho.

The 32-year-old received a SofaScore rating of 7.02 for his performances in the Italian top flight last season, while he won 77% of his duels, lost possession just 4.8 times on average, and made 3.3 clearances per game.

Roma won the inaugural Europa Conference League title last season with Smalling also playing a key role, averaging a 7.16 rating as per SofaScore.

Media personality Imoh Umoren dubbed Smalling as “one of the best defenders in the world on current form” back in April and after every passing match, it appears Man United made a giant mistake selling him.

The Englishman has already carried on from where he left off last season, ranking first in the Roma squad for clearances per game (4.4), second for interceptions per match (1.8), and fifth for overall rating (7.14) as per SofaScore.

The £81k-per-week defender has also scored three times in Serie A so far this season in just nine matches, with no current Man United defender having scored once during the campaign so far, Smalling would have been an added goal threat for Erik ten Hag.

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With United conceding 18 goals in all competitions so far this season, Ten Hag has a big job on his hands to improve the defence. There will no doubt be links to some of the finest talents in world football emerging ahead of the January window, but if the club had just kept Smalling, they may have saved themselves millions.

Letting him go for just short of £20m appears to be one of the worst pieces of business done recently by the club, especially with the player currently shining in Italy.

Article title: Manchester United must rue selling Chris Smalling

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