Chris Smalling has been jettisoned from England’s 23-man squad for the forthcoming World Cup in Russia this summer, amid concerns that have lingered since November that he is not good enough on the ball to fit into Gareth Southgate’s flowing Three Lions side.
The former Fulham man, valued at £16.2m by Transfermarkt, has endured a season where he has still looked shaky at times for Manchester United, but also one in which he has chipped in with away goals at vital times.
His United team-mate Phil Jones will be on the plane to Russia but he had a torrid afternoon in Saturday’s FA Cup final defeat against Chelsea, in which Eden Hazard – whom Jones could well face in England’s final Group G match, against Belgium – tore him apart, most notably winning the penalty for the only goal of the game.
By contrast, Smalling largely stifled Olivier Giroud and looked the more assured of the pair so we’re asking you; did Southgate make an error by not taking him to the World Cup?
Let us know by voting in the poll below and keep your eyes peeled for the results as the excitement builds between the completion of the club season and the build-up to the tournament next month…