Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has completed a season-long move to Serie A club Roma after being pushed to the fringes at Old Trafford in the early stages of 2019/20.
Roma are believed to have agreed to pay €3m to take the England international for the next 10 months, although an option to buy hasn’t been included.
Smalling is United’s current longest serving player following his 2010 arrival from Fulham and has played just over 320 games for the club in all competitions.
The 29-year-old is one the few survivors from United’s last Premier League title win in 2012/13 and was, for a time, considered as a future club captain. He often wore the armband under the management of Louis van Gaal and enjoyed by far his best personal season in 2015/16.
Smalling played 34 times in all competitions for United last season, only to find himself frozen out by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer since the start of the new campaign – Harry Maguire and Victor Lindelof are now the club’s premier centre-back pairing.
Smalling, much like Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo, has not played a single minute of football in 2019/20 and is yet to even be selected as a substitute for any of the club’s three Premier League fixtures so far. Home-grown talent Axel Tuanzebe has been the preferred understudy.
Moving to Italy will represent a new challenge for Smalling as he aims to reignite his career.
Roma will be playing in the Europa League this season, although they cannot be drawn with United in the group stage, and are looking to secure a return to the Champions League after finishing a disappointing sixth in Serie A last term.