Chris Smalling’s spell at Roma is over after a successful year out on loan.
Manchester United’s generosity did not extend to allowing Smalling to play in the Europa League knockout stages against us in this year’s reconfigured tournament.
The MEN report Smalling is now due to return to Manchester after he was not named in Roma’s Europa League squad.
The veteran defender sent a message out on social media saying he was ‘gutted’ not to finish his adventure with the Serie A side.
United not a charity
United were quite firm with both Roma and Inter when we extended the loans of Sanchez and Smalling that they would not cover the Europa League last eight onwards.
The message was clear, if you want to continue using them, then pay up.
Roma have not been willing to do that, and Smalling should direct any frustration he has towards them, rather than United.
He has enjoyed a good year out on loan and was named by WhoScored this week in their Serie A team of the season.
Smalling understandably wants to continue this momentum and he should not be short of suitors this summer, even if Roma are not willing to pay United’s asking price.
Upon his return to Manchester, Smalling will not be eligible to play for United in the Europa League.
As it stands, he would rejoin United’s first team for the new season, although we would expect he finds a new club before the transfer deadline on October 5.
United are unlikely to be in a position to offer Smalling the regular football he craves. This past season he made 34 first team starts for Roma in Serie A alone.
Teenage talent Teden Mengi could make his debut against LASK on Wednesday night, and if that goes well, it will be a further knock against Smalling’s chance of playing for United again.
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