Roma have confirmed the signing of Manchester United defender Chris Smalling on a one-year loan.The Giallorossi have paid a €3million fee as part of the deal, while the former England international will wear the No 6 shirt.
Smalling told the Roma website:
“As soon as I heard the interest was there, the chance to experience a new League with a big team that has got big aspirations is what I needed. I’m lucky enough to be here now.”
“There started to be a few rumours not too long ago, and it got me interested – but you are never too sure whether it is true or not. Then once I heard it was concrete I wanted to talk and get it wrapped up very quickly.
“I think [the presence of Kolarov and Dzeko] was definitely a factor, knowing they are experienced players and what they’ve achieved – both in the Premier League and here.
“Speaking to them, speaking to other players who have played in Italy, there was such good noise around Roma and Serie A itself that it was a bit of a no-brainer.
“Growing up obviously you want to play in the Premier League, but deep down I also had that aspiration to play abroad.
“Watching Serie A over the years, being one of the top leagues alongside the Premier League, and [now] being able to come and experience that – and at such a big club as well – it was the perfect opportunity for me.”
Roma sporting director Gianluca Petrachi on the loan signing of Chris Smalling said:
‘We are pleased to bring a player like Chris, who has so much experience, to Roma.
‘We are convinced he will help the growth of this squad and all the lads he plays alongside.’
Speaking to MUTV before his pre-match press conference, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer explained the reasons behind the loan move.
‘At the moment we’ve got six centre-backs,’ said the United manager.
‘This is just something that popped up towards the end [of the European transfer window] in the last couple of days.
‘Chris fancied the chance to go over there; it’s a new experience, new adventure.
‘He’ll come back better for it because it’s a big club, it’s a good league. There aren’t too many English players who have been playing in Italy so I think he’ll enjoy it.’