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Manchester United has slowly but steadily made a rise back up in the European giants.
The club has been through a few turbulent seasons — missing out on winning the Premier League as well as the Champions League.
Since the sacking of Louis van Gaal and appointment of Jose Mourinho, Manchester United has been overhauling to get back in the top 3 of the Premier League.
Decent first season, but more was needed
Mourinho in his first season brought in Paul Pogba, Zlatan Ibrahimovic , Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan. With the arrival of big names, United had high hopes to be there till the end of the season.
However, United did manage to clinch victories in FA Community Shield and Europa League after beating Ajax. With the win, they qualified for the Champions League despite finishing sixth in the league.
In the past, Manchester United faced problems that affected their performance regularly. Also, with back to back injuries to their key players, it wasn’t getting any easier.
With this in mind, Mourinho decided to bring Romelu Lukaku from Everton to boost United’s attacking options. On the other hand, Nemanja Matic and Victor Lindelof could help to handle the defense.
Competition is tough
For centre-backs, the club have quite a few options — Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly , Victor Lindelof. With the power of these four, United have to fight through all the matches.
Smalling, who managed to make 36 appearances in all formats for the Red Devils, scored two goals and two assists . Out of the three matches that he played in this season, the most recent one was his 250th match.
Manchester United settled for a draw against Liverpool in that match at the latter’s home turf. This was in some ways a signal for him to buck up his game.
Smalling needs to realize that the competition is tough for the centre-back position and the only way for him to sustain himself is to make a noticeable impact in the coming games.
Not favoured by the manager
It is no secret that Mourinho has always favored Eric Bailly and Phil Jones at the centreback position and they have time and again proved their worth.
To stay in the competition, Smalling needs to make the most of his time on the field. In the coming days, he will really have to fight for his position in Manchester United.
Written by Sandeep Sharma
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