Sir Alex Ferguson has landed a gem in young Chris Smalling
Given the financial situation at the moment, the news that Fulham defender Chris Smalling is to sign for Manchester United came as quite a shock.
The transfer is reported to be in the region of £8million. That seems like a lot of money paid for someone who has only started once for Fulham, though he has featured in eight games all together. Smalling impressed against Chelsea in December 2009, where he had kept the dangerous Didier Drogba quiet for most of that game. Unfortunately, he scored an own goal in that game handing Chelsea a 2-1 victory in the dying moments.
Chris Smalling looks a very similar player to Rio Ferdinand, Smalling slightly taller at 6’5 compared to Ferdinand’s 6’3. I believe Sir Alex has found a gem here. It speaks volume that he costs so much, considering he’s only 20 years old.
I’ve also seen an England u21 game that he had featured in, against Portugal in a European Championships qualifier, a game in which he didn’t have much to do, but got on with the job quietly and kept a clean sheet. Some reports suggest this may spell the end of Nemanja Vidic, but I hope the Serbian stays and ignores the temptations of Real Madrid and Barcelona.
A spokesman had released the following statement: “Manchester United has agreed terms for the transfer of Chris Smalling from Fulham. Chris has agreed personal terms with the club and will join for the beginning of the 2010/2011 campaign. He will remain at Fulham until the end of the current season.”
A statement on the Fulham FC website said: ”Should a successful medical be completed and final terms agreed the player will join Sir Alex Ferguson’s team at the start of the 2010/2011 season, staying at Fulham for the remainder of the current season.”
Sir Alex Ferguson will probably view this signing (if it were to go through) as long-term rather than short-term. I wouldn’t expect Smalling to feature too many times with the red shirt next year, but I think he has potential and the talent to succeed at the club.
Useful links on Chris Smalling: