Chris Smalling may be handed a start against his former club Man Utd in the Europa League after he returns to action for Roma on Sunday.
Chris’ recovery was on another level
After missing nine games with a knee injury, Chris was able to return to the field for Roma’s trip to Cagliari in Serie A on Sunday. The 31-year-old was powerless to prevent Paulo Fonseca’s side from falling to a 3-2 defeat, but could now be in line to play in the first leg of their semifinal tie at Old Trafford. Fonseca left special praise for Chris Smalling, who switched to Roma on a permanent €15 million transfer from United last summer, despite watching his team lose more positions in the race for European qualifiers in Serie A. The Roma boss said he did a great job. It was important to get Chris Smalling at least 45 minutes of playing time, he had more than that and he thinks it was positive. Now he has a chance to play against Man Utd. Unfortunately they weren’t able to give some playing time to everyone coming back from injury, he said, but Leonardo Spinazzola and Smalling were the most important to get the minutes at their feet.
Much was expected of Chris this season after his impressive stadio Olimpico loan performances in 2019-20, but injuries have hampered his progress significantly. The England International Championship was limited to just 18 appearances in all competitions. Chris Smalling spent ten years in United Books before permanently joining Roma, initially signing with Fulham in 2010. During his time at Old Trafford, the defender won nine trophies, including two Premier League titles, scoring over 300 matches and scoring 18 goals.
What next for Chris
Roma will travel to Manchester on Thursday as they seek an edge in their last four Europa League encounters to take back to Italy. The return match is set to take place at Stadio Olimpico on May 6, with Arsenal or Villarreal awaiting winners.