Considering that United started the season with seven (!) central defenders, it was weirdly not met with many surprised faces when the team at one point only had two of them fit.
Although it was only for the odd game or two, the decision to send Chris Smalling out on loan was vindicated. Injuries have kept Axel Tuanzebe out of the side in what was supposed to be a defining season for him.
Smalling, however, has impressed in Rome. The England international, who signed for Roma on deadline day last year, has become a mainstay in the Roma team and their first choice defender.
Paulo Fonseca says that he has been impressed by Smalling and intends on making his temporary move a permanent one.
“Chris is a great, great man, a great, great professional,” Fonseca says.
“The adaptation (to Italian football) was very easy for him. He’s a boy that everyone loves in the club because he is a great professional.
“I would like Chris to stay. We are speaking. I don’t know if it is possible because of the situation with Manchester United, but I would like so much for Chris to stay here with us because he is very important.
“He is a great player, a great man with a great attitude every day and for all of these reasons I would be very happy if Chris stays.”