The purge over at Manchester United continued on Friday after the club announced that they have agreed to ship center back Chris Smalling to Italian side AS Roma on a one-season loan deal. The English giants will reportedly earn three million euros from this deal and does not include an option to buy at the end of the 2019-20 season. This move was completed one day after United sent castaway Alexis Sanchez over to Inter Milan.
Manchester manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer previously told Smalling that he was not planning to use him nearly as often anymore after Leicester City center back Harry Maguire was brought in on a record signing deal. This led the Red Devil veteran to make the decision to finally move on after nearly a decade of service in which helped lead the side to two Premier League titles.
Roma were in need of a new defensive anchor after they lost Kostas Manolas to Napoli earlier in the summer. Previous to completing this deal, they were close to bringing in Liverpool's Dejan Lovren, who remains at Anfield.
Speaking to ASRoma.com, the newest "I Giallorossi" said that this move was a "perfect opportunity" for him. "The chance to experience a new league, with a big team that has got big aspirations is exactly what I needed."
When asked why he was shipped off from Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that the club had an excess of center halves. "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."
As of writing, there are currently only two other players from the U.K. in Serie A. Former Leeds United midfielder Ronaldo Vieira currently plays for Sampdoria, and Scottish midfielder Liam Henderson competes with Hellas Verona. The only Englishman who has ever played for Roma is Ashley Cole, who made only 16 appearances during the 2014-15 season before quickly moving on to the LA Galaxy.
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