Apart from his passing, what did Smalling actually do wrong? And are you against him coming back next season?

RedFish

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He's better than Maguire defensively for me. I'd go even as far to say he's probably England's best center half. His limitations on the ball make him a prime suspect playing in the modern game, where so much distribution and possession is housed from the defence.
Better at passing wind than the ball and not sure he knows the difference.
 
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Here’s my CB list, in order of quality. Ratings based on these criteria: positioning, aerial, passing, pace, technical ability, athleticism, mistakes and finally, “defending”.

Maguire
Lindelof
Smalling
Bailly
Tuanzebe
Jones
Rojo

I rate Lindelof and Smalling almost even, but they are two very different players. Lindelof is a classic ball playing CB, and Smalling is fairly limited on the ball. Smalling is better in the air, less mistake prone, but physically dominant and better positioning. I rate their pace as close to equal. Lindelof way ahead on technical ability and passing. I can see a need for both players in the squad.

Bailly and Jones are incredibly mistake prone. Under no circumstances should they be played in an important match. Tuanzebe I rate, but he’s always injured. Rojo is a walking, talking red card who also is mistake prone.

Personally, I’d like to see Smalling return as he is a useful player. Also, it’s not like ball playing, pacey, strong defenders are everywhere...
Good post, and think that’s a fair ranking.

Often you b players get overrated, in this case it’s not that Tuanzebe is overrated, it’s that Jones and Rojo are so bad that even a kid who has been injured for a year and barely played in the PL is a better bet.
 

NinjaZombie

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I don't think we'd benefit that much from having Smalling back in defence. Maybe we'd be tearing our hairs out less at seeing Lindelof getting bullied, but we'd be more frustrated at watching Smalling attempt to play his way out of defence.

I don't agree with trying to play our way out at all costs, but that seems to be the approach Ole wants to take anyway. I don't see Smalling being a part of it in anyway.
 

Josep Dowling

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Distributing the ball from defence is now a key part of the game and Smalling can’t do that. He lacks composure and is the type to smash the ball outs into the stand rather than recycling the ball so we retain possession. He’s better than Jones but that’s hardly a reason for keeping him. Just get rid and move on. It’s not like he was ever amazing for us.
 

JJ12

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I don’t believe for a second that £15m is our limit.
I don’t believe we’ll get much better for even double that. Good young player with potential maybe.
 

RkkMan

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If he`s willing to be 3rd choice CB I`d keep him and sell Rojo/Jones instead. Unpopular opinion but Maguire/Lindelof is not as bad a partnership as people are making it out to be they compliment each other more than people think. Lindelof is our best CB in 1v1s Maguire is our best CB aerially both are very good on the ball. They lack a bit of pace yes but with a better DM and better performances from De Gea that won`t be a big issue. They aren`t the 3rd best defensive partnership ITL for no reason and I think only 4/5 teams in Europe have conceded less goals than us. He`s poor on the ball but miles better than Bailly/Rojo/Jones/Axel and him being good aerially and having good top level experience makes him a solid back up to Maguire when we need to rest him.
 

RUCK4444

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Better than most give him credit for. Tall, quick, good in 1 v 1 situations. He ticks most of the boxes that we need in a partner for Maguire.

I said before he left that I would have liked to see him partner Maguire. Smalling I believe would help allow Maguire to push up and win the ball early when the ball is played into the opposition forwards (either in the air or on the ground) which he likes to do, by providing that comfort of a quick defender who is good 1 v 1 sweeping up behind him. And in turn this will help considerably to maintain a high press IMO.

I think once we find that partner for Maguire then Harry will really kick onto another level.
 

Suvvernmanc

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Distributing the ball from defence is now a key part of the game and Smalling can’t do that. He lacks composure and is the type to smash the ball outs into the stand rather than recycling the ball so we retain possession. He’s better than Jones but that’s hardly a reason for keeping him. Just get rid and move on. It’s not like he was ever amazing for us.
Maybe a little harsh on Smalling. He played under Jose who told our defence to lump it long. Smallings defensive capabilities are not questioned in my opinion. His ball playing abilities were. But.. at Roma he has been expected to play out and he has done it very well. He has intercepted many balls by stepping up early and finding space in midfield positions and has looked comfortable on the ball.

If we are talking about bringing Smalling back to be our 3rd CB option and for rotation, then what are the negatives? He would save us ££ on a new CB. He is defensively sound and has improved his overall game in Italy. He would be as good as, if not better that Lindelof in my opinion.
 

RkkMan

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Better than most give him credit for. Tall, quick, good in 1 v 1 situations. He ticks most of the boxes that we need in a partner for Maguire.

I said before he left that I would have liked to see him partner Maguire. Smalling I believe would help allow Maguire to push up and win the ball early when the ball is played into the opposition forwards (either in the air or on the ground) which he likes to do, by providing that comfort of a quick defender who is good 1 v 1 sweeping up behind him. And in turn this will help considerably to maintain a high press IMO.

I think once we find that partner for Maguire then Harry will really kick onto another level.
He`s a good 3rd choice CB but not good enough as a starter. Ole`s starting CBs need to be good on the ball for all his decent defensive qualities that one trait Smalling lacks will cost us more times than you think if he starts plus Lindelof is better than people give him credit for. He`s statistically one of the best 1v1 CBs in Europe and the only PL CB not to have been dribbled past this season.
 

rcoobc

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He's a good player, and pretty much always was.

I kinda feel like playing with "not good enoughs" like Jones for so many years, and playing under LVG and Mourinho has killed him for us.

But I wouldn't be surprised if he goes onto have a decent career for a mid-table club, whether in the Premier League or Serie A.

A shame.
 

hmchan

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The harsh reality is CBs need to be good on the ball to play in today's top level football.

So besides his passing, he didn't do much wrong. But it's precisely because he can't pass out from the back that he can't play for any top level clubs.
It's absolutely fine for people to include ball playing ability in their assessment. The irritating part is that they don't apply the same standard to every player and only use it against players they don't like. Players are also required to be good on the ball to play at RB and CM but Wan-Bissaka and Kante receive much fewer criticisms than Smalling.
 

EwanI Ted

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I don’t believe we’ll get much better for even double that. Good young player with potential maybe.
No one better than a 30yo smalling, even for £30m? Ok.
 

Suvvernmanc

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Smalling has improved his overall game at Roma. I would rather him come back and us put more money into the CM and Sancho deals. I've watched him a couple times and has looked top class in his defensive abilities (which was never questioned) and his ball playing abilities are much better than what people think.

 

RUCK4444

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He`s a good 3rd choice CB but not good enough as a starter. Ole`s starting CBs need to be good on the ball for all his decent defensive qualities that one trait Smalling lacks will cost us more times than you think if he starts plus Lindelof is better than people give him credit for. He`s statistically one of the best 1v1 CBs in Europe and the only PL CB not to have been dribbled past this season.
Yeah I agree Lindelof is better than some believe, I just have a gut feeling that Smalling would have potentially suited the role I describe alongside Maguire well.

Plus it would release funds for an additional top level player in the DM position. The benefit of having Matic and another top level DM is huge for any CB pairing we field.

Don't get me wrong if we can I would like to upgrade and get the perfect, younger, CB signing but I'm not sure what we are willing to spend this summer. A lot I hope.
 

mitchmouse

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do you mean apart from not being able to defend properly, being slow and being a mistake waiting to happen?:devil:
 

Josep Dowling

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Maybe a little harsh on Smalling. He played under Jose who told our defence to lump it long. Smallings defensive capabilities are not questioned in my opinion. His ball playing abilities were. But.. at Roma he has been expected to play out and he has done it very well. He has intercepted many balls by stepping up early and finding space in midfield positions and has looked comfortable on the ball.

If we are talking about bringing Smalling back to be our 3rd CB option and for rotation, then what are the negatives? He would save us ££ on a new CB. He is defensively sound and has improved his overall game in Italy. He would be as good as, if not better that Lindelof in my opinion.
I think the reason he went out on loan was because he wasn’t a starter. I doubt he will be happy sitting on the bench hence why he should be moved on. If he does want to stay then fair enough he’s better than our other bench options. Jones and Rojo are the ones that need booting out.
 

Suvvernmanc

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I think the reason he went out on loan was because he wasn’t a starter. I doubt he will be happy sitting on the bench hence why he should be moved on. If he does want to stay then fair enough he’s better than our other bench options. Jones and Rojo are the ones that need booting out.
I never understood why smalling went to Roma and we kept Jones and Rojo. Of we couldn't find buyers for them, we should have kept smalling to actually play and Jones and Rojo would have still been nothing players. They havent played anyway. Yet we've needed another CB with qualities like smalling.

Its not too late for Smalling here.
 

Zoo

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If there is no good offer and he’s happy to be third choice then yeah bring him back.
 

redpatron

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Bloody hell, this Smalling love is getting ridiculous. He was here 8 years and suddenly he is excellent defender whos only flaw is that he doesn't have good technique.
Move on people
Might as well bring back Young and Valencia since our fullbacks provide nothing in attack. Just saw Nani doing well in MLS, he would provide more width and dribbling technique than Mason and Marcus we should consider him too. Need to go back to the glory days of crappy football and non stop moaning about how shite we are.

do you mean apart from not being able to defend properly, being slow and being a mistake waiting to happen?:devil:
Don't forget that our current manger hates his guts, threw him under the bus after the everton embarrassment, talked about the defense lack of effort, desire, and basics.

"Im going to be successful here, and there are players there that wont be part of that." If Ole doesn't want you here, he's going to let you know.
 

Pav1878

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Would take Smalling back as cover only. Still need to sign another starting CB and get rid of Jones and rojo
 

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I can't see Smalling being happy at being third choice CB, when he's first choice at Roma. He'll want assurances. I can't see him returning, unless Roma can't pay up.
 

Globule

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He was nowhere near the top of my list of CBs we needed to ship off, but I guess that's why he's most likely to leave in a weird way. He's played as a starting CB for too long to accept being a sub and he doesn't really fit the type of football we want to play.

I'd rather have Smalling than Jones or Bailly, but who is buying those two?
 

bsCallout

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The ONLY thing I can think; Ole identified that Lindelof and Maguire could develop a partnership over the long term and that was worth losing Smalling to try and implement.

More and more I'm leaning towards a better GK as priority over replacing Lindelof at the moment. I think that would help them a lot more
 

roonster09

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Any chance he actually stays with us this season?
Good, we should ask Roma to feck off if they can't sign him for 20 million. If they again come back for loan, there should be option of Obligation to buy.
 

Zoo

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The ONLY thing I can think; Ole identified that Lindelof and Maguire could develop a partnership over the long term and that was worth losing Smalling to try and implement.

More and more I'm leaning towards a better GK as priority over replacing Lindelof at the moment. I think that would help them a lot more
Also Ole probably had high hopes for Tuanzebe this year too but the injuries have stalled his progress.
 

Bilbo

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With the amount of clubs needing a centre back right now, and the relative shortage of available ones out there, somebody will surely be willing to pay us £20m for Smalling.
 

bsCallout

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Also Ole probably had high hopes for Tuanzebe this year too but the injuries have stalled his progress.
I agree. I imagine he wanted the two younger CB's to challenge each other to partner Maguire. I don't know if Lindelof has proven himself enough to get the chance but like I mentioned, replacing DDG might really help both CB's.
 

devilish

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Italian clubs think we're stupid. They ask ridiculous fees for their players then when they want our players they come knocking to our doors with loan deals
 

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No one better than a 30yo smalling, even for £30m? Ok.
Can you name some? In a summer where we're likely to have an enormous outlay on Sancho, every other penny we allocate has to stretch as far as it can. The kind of CB's that are physically superior to Smalling and better than the collective we have are nestled in the £60m+ range, are they not?

That kind of money is needed elsewhere this window, particularly at DM and we really could do with an able attacking full-back, or two.

There's no doubt we need a quality CB, but is it our uppermost priority, accepting Sancho?
 

Idxomer

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We sold Schneiderlin, a nothing player, for over 20m. If no club comes with a decent offer, he should definitely stay.
 

EwanI Ted

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Can you name some? In a summer where we're likely to have an enormous outlay on Sancho, every other penny we allocate has to stretch as far as it can. The kind of CB's that are physically superior to Smalling and better than the collective we have are nestled in the £60m+ range, are they not?

That kind of money is needed elsewhere this window, particularly at DM and we really could do with an able attacking full-back, or two.

There's no doubt we need a quality CB, but is it our uppermost priority, accepting Sancho?
You’ve just made a very strong argument to sell Smalling now, while he still has some value left.
 

joedirt87

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Are you all ready for the Phil Jones and Chris Smalling testimonial
 

Pretzels81

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No. A fit-non injured Bailly is just as good/bad as Smalling ever was.

We actually need to sign a TopTop CB so Lindelof and Bailly became our bench CBs.
 

bosnian_red

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We're much better off with keeping Smalling. He's better playing in a high line that Ole likes to play, has the aggression and recovery pace that Maguire lacks, and is great in the air in both boxes. He should probably partner Maguire, but will likely be 3rd option. His season at Roma was excellent though and showed he's a very good player. Hopefully Ole is open to it, and Smalling as well, as it makes our defensive group really good and I'd be much more confident with him in it, rather than buying another unknown at the back.

People have this skewed perception of Smalling just like they did with Evans because they were tied to our poor years, probably because Jones is always injured. The 3 were always intertwined, until Evans left and proved he's one of the best centerbacks in the league (was better than Maguire at Leicester last year, and better than Soyuncu this year). Smalling left and proved to be one of the best centerbacks in the Serie A. We just need to find the right grouping around him, and Maguire would be an excellent partner to him. On the other hand, Wan Bissaka also being shit on the ball would make that right side pretty iffy on the ball, so thats the risk.