Why Chris Smalling could be a statement signing for Wolves
Wolves have been very active in the transfer window this summer and have made nine new acquisitions so far. Portugal internationals Rui Patricio and Joao Moutinho are the high-profile players to join Wolves in the summer as Nuno Espirito Santo attempts to make a statement in the Premier League.
Chris Smalling has been at Manchester United since being signed by Sir Alex Ferguson in the summer of 2011 from Fulham. The centre-back has made almost 300 appearances for the Red Devils and while he remains unpopular amongst the fans, the England international was used frequently by Jose Mourinho last season as the likes of Eric Bailly, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo failed to stay fit.
Smalling, who has often been lambasted for his positional sense and lack of agility in the last few seasons, was a regular under Mourinho as he played 46 games across all competitions last season. Indeed, Smalling isn’t the quality that Manchester United deserve but he ticks the boxes Mourinho needs in a defender – tall, strong, powerful and ready to work his socks off.
The Red Devils are chasing Barcelona defender Yerry Mina, and should they land him, maybe it could be the end of Smalling’s Old Trafford career despite being the club’s most consistent defender last season. (h/t Metro)
Wolves could definitely benefit from someone of Smalling’s stature at Molineux. While his forward passing and composure at the back may always be a concern, his top-flight experience and pedigree would certainly help the Wolves in the upcoming Premier League campaign. The 28-year-old would be a clever acquisition as he carries the experience, leadership qualities and know-how that the Wolves defence currently lacks.
Nuno has already strengthened his defence this summer by securing the permanent signing of Willy Boly and landing Jonny Castro on a season-long loan from Atletico Madrid. However, Smalling’s arrival would definitely give Wolves a boost ahead of the new campaign.
The Englishman has always shown glimpses that he is capable of being a reliable Premier League defender, but the 28-year-old has never been able to perform consistently at Old Trafford.
A change of scenario could help him fulfil his potential and a move to Wolves looks brilliant. Smalling has just 12 months left on his contract at United and the time could be right for Wolves to sign him.