Manchester United defender Chris Smalling says that he wants to be remembered as a player of great stature than Rio Ferdinand at the club.
Along with Nemanja Vidic, Ferdinand is seen as one of the best central defenders that the club has had in the last decade. Now playing at QPR, the former England international is coming to the end of his career. At almost a decade younger than him, Smalling is seen as the future of United’s defence. He is also close to establishing himself as the England number one centre back after a string of performances this campaign.
Once upon a time, the former Fulham player was seen as a talented player who had a long way to go before establishing himself as one of the top defenders. Signed by former manager Sir Alex Ferguson for £ 12 million, Smalling is starting to repay United with a string of good performances. He has been an ever present in the United back four – especially in the second half of the campaign – and is close to being the permanent fixture in England’s defence along with Phil Jones. During his time at United, Ferdinand won numerous accolades including Premier League and Champions League medals.
Smalling has just won a couple of trophies like the Premier League. “Louis van Gaal has really helped me as a player because the one thing he has stressed is for the centre-backs to take more responsibility on the ball.Rio was a defender I always admired for the way he put his character and personality into his football.When he finally moved on it was a challenge I really looked forward to because I felt I was ready to step up and show the manager what I could do,” said Smalling about the ambitions for his United career.