Chris Smalling has been in imperious for Manchester United all season but he faces his biggest test of the year at Old Trafford on Sunday against Manchester City.
Sergio Aguero and David Silva might be out of the derby but the likes of Raheem Sterling, Kevin de Bruyne will definitely be keeping Smalling busy in defence.
However, Smalling has been so consistently strong in defence that he must be supremely confident of facing up against anybody right now and coming out on top. The Arsenal game was an ugly blip and United recovered straight away with a convincing win away to Everton – another reason for Smalling to be so confident.
— Chris Smalling (@ChrisSmalling) October 24, 2015
While Anthony Martial and Juan Mata might be crucial to United in attack, Smalling has become one of the most important players in Louis van Gaal‘s side this year.
He’s now a key component of the team’s spine and one which is continuing to improve with every performance. A player who was previously famous for always being capable of spontaneous mistakes, Smalling is now so consistently impressive and it’s filling other players around him with more confidence as well.
The fact Louis van Gaal identified Smalling as a future man United captain after what he’s seen this season is a testament to just how impressive he’s been.
Last year, Smalling’s red card against City at the Etihad was a low point in his United career. At Old Trafford on Sunday, he has the opportunity to completely exorcise those demons.