Chris Smalling has revealed that he is flattered by comparisons to Manchester United icon Rio Ferdinand.
Smalling went into this season with a question mark over his future at Man United due to poor form and injuries but he has really kicked on over the course of the campaign.
The 26-year-old has been one of United’s standout players this term and he has also established himself as a key member of the England squad. Smalling insisted he is happy with how he has developed this season.
“I am happier with myself than I was two years ago. I have stayed injury free and that has enabled my confidence to grow,” Smalling said.
“It has helped me to churn out the games and that is something I enjoy. Nobody wants to train every day so the more games the better. It is nice to hear yourself being compared to great players. Everyone has their own traits but if you are being compared to players like Rio Ferdinand then you must be doing something well and hopefully I can keep that going.”
Ferdinand was one of United’s best ever defenders but there is no reason why Smalling can’t get close to his stature at the club if he continues his upward trajectory.
In what has been a season to forget for supporters, Smalling’s performances have been a cause for optimism and it has been good to see him finally realise his potential.