Manchester United defender Chris Smalling once again proved what an accomplished defender he has become with a tremendous performance for England against Spain.
Smalling started at centre-back alongside his Man united colleague Phil Jones and the par were on top of their game for a large majority of the game. England eventually succumbed to a 2-0 defeat but the defenders can take great pride in their run out. Preparing for next summer’s European Championships, the performance was possibly more important than the result for England and Smalling’s audition at centre-back could not have gone better.
The 25-year-old’s performances for United this season have made him a shoe-in starter for his national side and against Spain he proved that he can cut it at the highest level. Smalling had the tough task of looking after Deigo Costa and the Chelsea striker barely had a sniff all game. It was another one of those games where the former Fulham man never seemed to put a foot wrong, an occurrence that United fans are getting accustomed to seeing.
There is no doubt that Smalling is England’s best option at centre-back right now and if he continues playing the way he has this campaign, he could start to be considered one of the finest defenders in Europe. Not many players on the continent have consistently produced brilliant performances like Smalling has this season and watching him start for England shows just how far he has come.
The defender has arguably been United’s best player thus far this year and if he can transfer his brilliant club form to the international stage like he has done, he could be an hugely important player for his nation for a long time to come.