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With Manchester United subjected to an injury crises at the back, Sir Alex Ferguson and The Red Devil’s coaching staff want 21-year-old centre-half Chris Smalling to play to his full potential and drive the Premier League leaders onto a record 19th domestic trophy. But can youth really claim silverware ? – We think so…

  Report By: Live Football, 6:55pm

With United currently finding themselves somewhat short of numbers in the centre of their defence, Smalling looks set to play a major role for his club over the next few weeks as they look to wrap up this year’s Premier League title. Rio Ferdinand’s continued injury problems have seen Smalling introduced into the United backline on a more frequent basis than Sir Alex Ferguson would have perhaps first planned when the defender joined the club in the summer.

The former Maidstone youngster has looked assured in the heart of United’s defence, but there has been questions asked recently regarding his ability to communicate clearly. Smalling and Wes Brown were caught out on numerous occasions during the 3-1 defeat to Liverpool, a lack of communication clearly the issue. The Premier League betting odds still indicate United will win the title despite that defeat, but Smalling will have to work on the issue to ensure he can reach his full potential.

It was a similar, albeit less serious story during the second-leg victory against Marseilles in the Champions League clash and Smalling has admitted the coaching staff at United have been trying to encourage him to be more vocal on the pitch. “The coaching staff want me to start expressing myself a bit more. They think I am a bit quiet on the pitch. But it is starting to come. With more games I am sure that confidence will come across,” he said.

At 21, Smalling looks to have all the attributes need to become a world-class centre back and this one weak part of his game will surely improve with the more experience he gains. With Ferdinand sidelined till the end of the season, Nemanja Vidic still struggling with injury and Jonny Evans now suspended, Smalling will have a key role in United’s hopes of picking up the treble this year and the Champions League betting tips reflect this.

The experience the former Fulham youngster will pick-up throughout the final part of this season will be just what Smalling needs to prove himself without doubt as Ferdinand’s long-term replacement at Old Trafford. Having Vidic alongside him rather than Wes Brown could be the deciding factor as to whether the club can repeat their success from 1999. The Serbian is the perfect partner for Smalling over the rest of the season and his return to the side will be integral to United’s plans…

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John mac

Mon, 28 Mar 2011 7:28:01 pm

Smalling should have been in the England squad, he’s been quality since rio been out and we haven’t missed rio which is great, missed big vidic tho so hurry back as your our best player this year.

United for the domestic double this season.



Mon, 28 Mar 2011 9:06:19 pm

I think smalling is th new Ferdinand.any1 else agree?4rm wot av seen he is quick n strong n very composed wit th ball.th same sorta attributes Ferdinand has


Chris m

Tue, 29 Mar 2011 12:04:49 am

I agree hes been awsome if u consider his age and experience hes goin to have a gr8 career with utd



Tue, 29 Mar 2011 7:14:34 am

Powerhouse the strength that evans lacks



Tue, 29 Mar 2011 9:02:34 am

Has Smalling been playing with the England U21’s? They have a tournament this summer which would be a great experience for him.


charles masakhwe

Tue, 29 Mar 2011 3:02:57 pm

i think Chris is the man to replace Ferdinand.


Chris m

Tue, 29 Mar 2011 4:36:56 pm

Lackymufc he has been playing with the u21s it realy is a gr8 squad for future its looking real good for england i actualy rate the unda 21 squad much more than the 1st team



Tue, 29 Mar 2011 7:42:33 pm

Still alot to learn, abit clumsy for me at the moment. But got great chance at united to succed.


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