Arsenal are reportedly ‘leading’ the race to sign Chris Smalling following his impressive loan spell in Serie A with Roma.
The Manchester United defender was deemed surplus to requirements by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during the summer, but has enjoyed a renaissance since making the move to Italian football with a series of stand-out performances for the capital club.
The 30-year-old impressed once again as Roma secured a goalless draw with Inter Milan on Friday night, England manager Gareth Southgate and assistant Steve Holland in attendance at the San Siro to monitor the centre-back’s form ahead of a potential recall to the national side.
Chris Smalling’s game by numbers vs. Inter:
100% long ball accuracy
85% pass accuracy
75% aerials won
5 ball recoveries
0 x dribbled past
0 goals conceded
An astute performance vs. one of the best sides in Serie A. 🙌 pic.twitter.com/8GyQ7P1LnP
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) December 6, 2019
Smalling last featured for England over two years ago, but Southgate is now considering bringing the experienced centre-back back into the fold as he weighs up his defensive options ahead of next summer’s European Championships.
The North London side have once again struggled defensively this season and have kept a close eye on Smalling in recent months, though they are likely to face competition from the likes of Everton and Leicester in the race for his signature.
Juventus and Inter Milan are also believed to be admirers, with United reported to value the former Fulham defender at around £18m.