‘He’s an extraordinary guy, very intelligent… I would like him to stay’: Roma boss Paulo Fonseca heaps praise on Manchester United loanee Chris Smalling after defender’s impressive season in Serie A
- Roma boss Paulo Fonseca is keen to make Chris Smalling’s loan deal permanent
- He has described the Englishman as ‘an extraordinary guy, very intelligent’
- Smalling is on loan from Manchester United, who value him at £25million
Chris Smalling has impressed while on loan at Roma this season, and the Italian club’s boss Paulo Fonseca is keen to make his deal permanent.
Speaking to A Bola, Fonseca said he is ‘very important to the club,’ and that he would ‘like him to stay.’
The Englishman joined Roma on loan in August, and has featured 28 times for the team, even contributing two goals and an assist. They sit fifth in the Serie A standings.
Chris Smalling has impressed during his loan spell at Roma from Manchester United
Roma boss Paulo Fonseca is keen to see him stay, saying he is ‘an extraordinary guy’
‘He surprised me,’ said Fonseca. ‘He’s a defender that had never left England and he arrived in a league very demanding of tactics, where details make the difference.
‘Chris adapted very quickly. He’s an extraordinary guy, very intelligent. He has characteristics that I really appreciate in the centre.
‘He’s fast, nearly unbeatable in one-on-ones. He has a great ability to read the play and anticipate. He was very important for this club.
‘If possible, I would like him to stay. He’s a great professional and person, it’s a pleasure to have him here with us.’
Roma want a permanent deal, but Man United value the 30-year-old defender at £25million
Smalling has himself said how much he has enjoyed playing and living in Italy
Roma are reportedly ready to strike a deal for Smalling, however are not willing to meet his £25million valuation.
Smalling’s current deal with the Red Devils runs out in 2022 and United are not willing to let the defender leave for a small fee.
If he is going to leave in the summer, United hope to replace the defender with Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly.
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