Manchester United News: Chris Smalling Signs New Five-Year Deal
In recognition of his stupendous efforts and breaking into the first team in his debut season, Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has been awarded a new five-year contract by the club. Smalling, who moved to Old Trafford from Fulham for a fee of £7m last summer made 34 appearances in his debut season, booking his place as a mainstay of the team behind Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic, and thus exceeding what was expected from him after it was thought that he was signed as a back-up and a player for the future.
On signing the new deal, Smalling said,
“This is a great club and in the short time I have been here I have already achieved more than I could have ever expected to. I am looking forward to a long and successful career at Manchester United.”
His debut season at Manchester United turned out to be a breakthrough year in the England U-21 international’s career as Smalling found himself thrust into the first team due to Rio Ferdinand’s recurring injuries. Young Smalling more than made up for the absence of Ferdinand as he drew heavy praise for his cool-headed performances and comparisons with Rio due to his style of play as he played a crucial role in United’s road to their 19th Premier League title and the Champions League final. Sir Alex Ferguson, who was instrumental in the youngster easing into the first team quickly said on the new deal,
“I am delighted Chris has signed a new contract.
“Chris has been outstanding since joining us from Fulham last year. He is an extremely talented young defender. He is quick, strong and reads the game well. He is a great asset to the team.”
With the major overhaul going on at Manchester United as defenders Wes Brown and John O’Shea have exited to Sunderland, Smalling will be expected to step up the bar and live up to his expectations for next season as United seek to defend their Premier League crown and fight for European glory. And the new deal will go a long way in instilling confidence in the youngster.