English Premiership

Smalling keen on Jones partnership

2015-06-10 12:54
Chris Smalling (Getty Images)

Cape Town - Chris Smalling believes Manchester United already have the solution to their well-documented centre-back woes.

According to Team Talk, Chris Smalling insists himself and Phil Jones are capable of becoming the long-term solution at the heart of the Manchester United defence.

The Red Devils have struggled defensively in the past three seasons, suffering from losing the stability that Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic brought to the back four.

But an improved defensive effort this term, especially from Smalling, saw the club end with the fourth best defensive record - a statistic which matched the club's final league position.

"Yes, I think it was (a make or break season)," the 25-year-old former Fulham defender said. 

"When you consider the outgoings at centre-back, players had to step in and luckily I've been one of those who has had a good run, especially in the second half of the season.

"I think we (Jones and I) have proven we can fill the gap. It's one where it just builds over time and we've had our chance this season and now it is all about building on that next season."

Smalling's rise this season was completed when the England international was handed the captain's armband against Arsenal, a match that ended 1-1.

"It was a big honour. When the manager told me the night before, it was always going to be one to look forward to. If we had got the win it would have been a lot nicer to savour, but it was still a proud day for me." Smalling told the club's website. 

Manchester United have been consistently linked with the "big-name signing" to bolster their options at the heart of the Red Devils defence. Real Madrid's Raphael Varane, German duo Mats Hummels and Benedikt Howedes as well as Valencia's Nicolas Otamendi are the players linked with a summer move to Old Trafford.


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