Come the end of this season, decisions have to be made with regards to several players who will be out of contract.
One such player is Chris Smalling.
Since arriving from Fulham, Smalling has developed into an international centre-back but could find himself a casualty of Jose Mourinho’s desire to improve the centre of the Manchester United defence.
At 28-years-of-age, Smalling is at the stage of his career where he would want regular first-team football and if that isn’t to be forthcoming then the player could be tempted by a move.
The tabloid news source, the Sun, is today running with the suggestion that Smalling could be the transfer target of another Premier League insinuating that Everton are interested in acquiring his talents.
If that is the case, Smalling would be treading a well-trodden path, following in the footsteps of Norman Whiteside, Darren Gibson and Wayne Rooney to name but three.
But, is Smalling the kind of player that Manchester United should be holding on to?
There’s no doubting that, on his day, he is a more than capable performer but, and this is my own personal view, he’s not the kind of world-class centre-back Mourinho foresees as being essential when it comes to Manchester United closing the gap on Manchester City.
However, from another angle, if Everton do manage to lure Smalling to Goodison Park when his contract runs out at the end of the season, the player is able to leave on a free transfer, which isn’t something I can see the Manchester United hierarchy being agreeable to.
It could be an interesting scenario set to develop over the summer, will Smalling be part of the squad come the 2019 / 2020 season or will his Manchester United career be over?
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