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Roma complete loan signing of...
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Roma complete loan signing of Chris Smalling from Manchester United

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

19:49 30 Aug 2019

Chris Smalling has joined Serie A side Roma on a season-long loan from Manchester United. 

The 29-year old centre-half has spent the past nine seasons at Old Trafford, making 323 appearances for the club. However, Smalling had fallen down the pecking order in defence particularly following the arrival of Harry Maguire.

Smalling's loan has cost Roma €3m, and he's been handed the no.6 shirt with the Giallorossi.

The England international is looking forward to a fresh start, "This is the perfect opportunity for me,” Smalling said.

"The chance to experience a new league, with a big team that has got big aspirations is exactly what I needed.

"Hopefully I can hit the ground running. I’m looking forward to joining up with my teammates."

Smalling's the latest United player to depart the club on loan before Monday's closing of the European transfer window. Alexis Sanchez has left for Inter, while Joel Pereira will spend this season with Scottish Premiership side Hearts.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explained his reasoning for allowing Smalling to head out on loan, "At the moment we've got six centre-backs.

"This is just something that popped up towards the end [of the European transfer window] in the last couple of days.

"Chris fancied the chance to go over there; it's a new experience, new adventure.

"He'll come back better for it because it's a big club, it's a good league. There aren't too many English players who have been playing in Italy so I think he'll enjoy it."

Smalling has competition with the likes of Juan Jesus and Federico Fazio for one of the centre-back places at the Olimpico, but Roma sporting director Gianluca Petrachi is delighted to add the two-time Premier League winner to their ranks, "We are pleased to bring a player like Chris, who has so much experience, to Roma.

"We are convinced he will help the growth of this squad and all the lads he plays alongside."

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