Chris Smalling proud to have “stayed strong” at big-spending Man Utd
Chris Smalling says he is proud to still be in the Manchester United team despite the club’s tendency to spend big money on new players over the years.
The former Fulham defender has made 14 appearances in the Premier League this season, four more than Victor Lindelof who arrived for over £30 million last summer.
Other players signed by Sir Alex Ferguson – the likes of Ashley Young, Antonio Valencia, Phil Jones and David De Gea – are all still picked regularly by current United boss Jose Mourinho, and Smalling thinks they deserve credit for that.
“I think a club like Manchester United is always striving for the best,” he told the club’s official website.
“Always looking to improve the team and we have had some good acquisitions over the years.
“But I think the fact we have stayed strong, and we have been able to be a good part of the group over these years we have been here, is a true testament to all of us.”
Smalling’s impact at the back
Smalling and Jones have made more appearances in the Premier League this season than recent signings Lindelof and Eric Bailly, although the latter has been injured. Smalling has won a larger percentage of aerial duels than all of United’s other centre backs.
The 28-year-old added: “When you sit down and think how long it’s been, it’s fantastic. You can never rest on your laurels and it is a case of always improving because a club like Manchester United is always striving for the best and, to be the best, you need to make sure you are always in form.”
Manchester United next play Stoke at home in the Premier League’s Monday night fixture. They currently sit second in the table, 15 points behind runaway league leaders Manchester City and one ahead of third-place Chelsea, who they play late February.
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