May 14, 2021

Man Utd


Chris Smalling criticises Manchester United over transfer exit

3 min read

Chris Smalling has criticised Manchester United for offering him little clarity on his future before his initial move to Roma last year.

Smalling joined AS Roma on loan for the 2019/20 season before making a permanent move during the most recent transfer window, bringing an end to his 10-year spell at United.

Smalling made 323 appearances for United, scoring 18 goals, but knew his days were numbered at Old Trafford after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left him out of the matchday squad on the opening day of the 2019/20 season.

The 30-year-old was eventually told he wouldn’t feature after the Premier League transfer window had shut, leaving him scrambling for a move, which left him frustrated.

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“I knew that my days under Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) were pretty much numbered,” Smalling told The Telegraph. “I was just a bit frustrated. One, I would like to have been told earlier and then, secondly, I was only able to go with just a day left of the Italian window being open.

“The English window had shut. I was left in a very s*** situation. I had to decide. After I had that chat [with Solskjaer] it was a case [from him] of, ‘I’m not sure when your next game will be’.

“In an ideal situation I would have known early in the summer and made plans and it almost got to the stage where I had a day left. My wife had just had a kid as well. There was a lot going on that happened at the last minute.”

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United get their Premier League campaign back underway on Saturday when they welcome strugglers West Brom to Old Trafford.

The under-pressure Reds came from behind to beat Everton last time out thanks to Bruno Fernandes’ double and Edinson Cavani’s first goal for United.

The players are returning from the two-week international break, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping to have as few injury and fitness concerns as possible among the stars coming back from international duty.

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On waiting to see whether a permanent move to Roma would go through last month, Smalling added: “There was more than one occasion when I didn’t think it was going to happen. Even in the week before. There were a couple of times when it was very close and it was pretty much off. It was probably 50-50 for quite a lot of it. We knew everything had gone through our side but then it hadn’t been ratified. It was probably for the next hour [after the Italian transfer window had closed] we were still waiting for that confirmation.”

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