Chris Smalling has been left out of Manchester United’s 25-man squad to face Galatasaray on Saturday, prompting concerns over a fresh injury.
The 26-year-old was part of the squad that toured China but didn’t feature in the side’s 4-1 loss to Dortmund in Shanghai.
Smalling has established himself as a fans’ favourite in the past year through a series of commanding performances at centre back.
However, it appears that the Englishman will not receive a chance to impress new boss Jose Mourinho in Gothenburg after missing out through injury.
The reemergence of Smalling over the past few years has been nothing short of incredible. From being an unpopular fringe player under David Moyes, the Englishman turned himself into a fundamental component of Louis van Gaal‘s squad.
Under the tutelage of Mourinho, the 26-year-old has the chance to continue his transformation from a shaky centre back to one of the finest defenders in the world. Alongside new signing Eric Bailly, Man United now boast one of the fastest and powerful centre back partnerships in the Premier League.
Indomitable centre back partnerships have always been a hallmark of successful Mourinho teams in the past, and this new pairing promises to act as a fantastic springboard for a title challenge this season.