Smalling has no regrets leaving Manchester United for Roma loan

‘It was a challenge I wanted to take’: Chris Smalling reveals he has no regrets about leaving his Manchester United ‘comfort zone’ for Roma loan

  • Chris Smalling revealed he has no regrets leaving Manchester United on loan
  • The defender has recaptured his best form this season with Serie A side Roma 
  • Smalling also revealed he is being kept in the loop with Serie A’s potential return 

Chris Smalling has revealed that he has no regrets leaving Manchester United on loan this season for Serie A side Roma.

The England international fell down the pecking order at Old Trafford after the club signed Harry Maguire in the summer for £80million. 

Smalling explained that he didn’t want to sit on the bench at United and wanted to leave his ‘comfort zone’ in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team as he asked for a loan move.  

Chris Smalling revealed he has no regrets leaving Manchester United for Roma on loan

‘Some English players have gone abroad but not many,’ he told The Times. 

‘It was a challenge that I wanted to take. I’m someone who definitely lives by not having any regrets. I like new things maybe out of my comfort zone and show people that anything is possible.’

Smalling has revived his career since joining Roma with a dominant season in Italy. He has been an integral part of the Serie A side’s defence as they sit fifth in the table.  

Smalling has revived his career in Serie A with impressive performances in Italy

No return date has been set yet for the return of Serie A, after all major leagues suspended their matches due to the coronavirus pandemic. Despite the uncertainty, Smalling said he and his team-mates are being kept well in the loop with developments. 

‘I can understand everyone’s position if they’ve not got that full clarity,’ he added.

‘Everybody wants to be as informed as possible. Fortunately, here at Roma, I feel like they have that clarity. They’ve kept us in the loop.

The defender said he is being kept well up to date as Serie A plans return from coronavirus

‘We had regular meetings with the CEO [Guido Fienga], talking about different measures, and keeping us up to date.

‘That’s been very useful to know their discussions with the league and the doctors and they are relaying that straight back to us. That’s why I feel like a lot of players here are comfortable about coming back, knowing the different measures.

‘It’s all been listed, but if some players at some clubs who don’t have that all in place yet then I can understand them being a bit fearful until that’s put in place. I’d want the same as well.’

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No rush with Benbatl following Dubai World Cup cancellation

Saeed bin Suroor will take his time in making plans for stable star Benbatl.

A triple Group One winner on turf, the six-year-old proved his toughness and versatility earlier this year in switching to dirt, winning a Group Two at Meydan before running a huge race to be third in the inaugural Saudi Cup, the world’s richest race.

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British No 1 Dan Evans ready to turn to Tim Henman's former coach

Dan Evans ready to turn to Tim Henman’s former coach as British No 1 bids to keep in optimum shape once tennis returns from COVID-19 crisis

  • Daniel Evans is ready to turn to Tim Henman’s former coach, Kieron Vorster
  • The British No 1 wants to team up with the no-nonsense South African to keep fit
  • Vorster’s former clients include Wayne Ferreira and ex-Chelsea keeper Petr Cech
  • Evans, 29, is determined to capitalise on an excellent start to the 2020 season 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

British No 1 Dan Evans is ready to turn to the man who masterminded the fitness of Tim Henman to keep him in optimum shape when tennis resumes.

The 29-year-old Midlander will team up and travel with Kieron Vorster, a no-nonsense South African whose clients have included former top-10 player Wayne Ferreira and former Chelsea and Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech.

It is a mark of how determined Evans is to capitalise on an excellent start to the season, prior to its suspension because of the coronavirus crisis.

British No 1 Daniel Evans is ready to turn to Tim Henman’s former coach, Kieron Vorster

The move is particularly interesting in light of Henman’s comments about Evans’ diet earlier this year, when captaining him at the ATP Cup team event. 

While praising Evans’s attitude, Henman observed that he ‘could miss a few meals’.

In the past 18 months Evans has reaped the rewards of a more professional approach to the game, and in the five events he has played this year has beaten seven top 20 players in reaching a career-high ranking of 28.

Hiring Vorster, 47, will be no soft option when they get the chance to work together in person once the lockdown is lifted. His near four-year spell with Henman coincided with the best results of the ex-world No 4’s career. 

Vorster, who masterminded the fitness of Tim Henman (left), is wanted by Evans (right) now

Most recently, Vorster has been working as a consultant to the athlete programme at Baylor University in Texas, while also running his own fitness business in Wimbledon. 

Evans has spent the lockdown at his base in Cheltenham, his last tournament having been a run to the semi-finals of the Dubai Duty Free Championships in February.

With a return of the international tour perhaps, minimally, three or four months away, it is likely that his next tournament will in the UK.

The LTA is planning to stage some events at home for British players over the summer.

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Cole: No 30 year title wait like Liverpool for Man United

‘Man United will get there – possibly next season’: Andy Cole tips Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men to be title contenders again very soon… and says they will never have to wait 30 years like Liverpool to win the league

  • Liverpool were on brink of winning their first league championship in 30 years
  • Jurgen Klopp’s team were 25 points clear at the top before Covid-19 pandemic
  • Man United haven’t lifted the Premier League trophy for seven seasons
  • But former striker Cole believes they won’t have to wait as long as Liverpool did
  • Cole believes progress is being made at Old Trafford to allow them to challenge 

Andy Cole believes Manchester United are back on track and won’t have to wait 30 years to win the title unlike their great rivals Liverpool.

Lifting the Premier League trophy was a regular occurrence during the striker’s six years at Old Trafford but United have gone seven years and counting since last being champions of England.

But Cole believes progress is being made under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United will soon be in a position to challenge for silverware again.

Andy Cole believes that Manchester United won’t have to wait 30 years for another league title

Winning the league title was a regular occurrence for Cole (right), pictured with his strike partner Dwight Yorke after United’s triumph in 1999

He told Sky Sports: ‘There is definite progress being made. It is about making small steps.

‘When you are talking about challenging for the league in the next few years, I would genuinely like to believe so.

‘It has taken Liverpool 30 years to get themselves in this position – I never want to see Man United in that position, taking 30 years to possibly win the Premier League again.

‘Man United will get there – with the better players that they keep and the better players they bring in – come possibly next season or the season after that.’

Cole believes United are making steady progress under his former team-mate Solskjaer 

Liverpool were on the verge of winning their first title in three decades before Covid-19 struck

Solskjaer’s United were fifth in the Premier League table when the season was suspended for the Covid-19 pandemic.

They sat just three points behind Chelsea in the final Champions League place but were a whopping 37 points adrift of champions-elect Liverpool.

United were, however, 11 matches undefeated in all competitions as they found some consistent form under Solskjaer and had just beaten Manchester City 2-0 in the derby before football paused.

Cole scored 121 goals in 275 appearances for United between 1995 and 2002, winning five Premier League titles as well as two FA Cups and the Champions League.


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