It’s fair to say Manchester United fans were surprised by Chris Smalling‘s performance in the clash against Watford on Saturday evening.
The Englishman was arguably the man of the match after a fine display that even saw him grab a goal.
Smalling’s effort was United’s second and eventually proved to be their winner in the 2-1 victory against the home side.
The centre-back has had his fair share of critics over the years but appears to be edging towards his best form.
Chris’ top season in a red shirt previously came under Louis van Gaal‘s management but there’s shades of that kind of form once more.
Cracking goal from Smalling. Never in a million years would I expect that from him.
— R™ (@RealTalkMUFC) September 15, 2018
THAT NEW SMALLING HAIRSTYLE TURNED HIM INTO A NUMBER 9 LMAOOO
— José (@MourinhoMindset) September 15, 2018
38 minutes in and Chris Smalling has a goal and an assist. What on earth is going on here 😂
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) September 15, 2018
Chris Smalling now has more goals this year for #mufc than Anthony Martial.
— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) September 15, 2018
Time to put some reshpek on Chris Smalling's name again😂😂😂😂😂
MIKE SMALLDINI BACK AT IT AGAIN pic.twitter.com/aEVWKSDlRI
— John Shin (@MrJohnShin) September 15, 2018
Smalling flawless tonight but people will still call him shit
— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) September 15, 2018
With Jose Mourinho struggling to find out his best back four it’s the perfect time for Smalling to rise to the occasion.
Many Manchester United fans had hoped Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof would become the club’s first choice pairing in defence but after some disappointment that dream has quickly died.
The expectation is they’ll slowly be allowed to feature together on a regular basis once more but probably further down the line.
If Chris can continue his displays however, then he’ll certainly delay that scenario from happening soon.