Chris Smalling seems to be proud of his transfer to Roma as the former United star Friday said he could see himself long-term at new club Roma after arriving in Italy on a year-long loan contract.
“This is an opportunity that came to me that I was very interested in, and I was very eager to come. To have a chance at a big club, if it prolongs and the club is happy and I am happy, then I can definitely see a longer term future in Italy,” the ex-United player said during his official presentation in Rome.
“In England we don’t have many players who do go abroad, but I’ve always had a desire deep down to experience this and to have the opportunity to go to a big club with big aspirations.”
Chris Smalling has 31 caps for England and made 323 appearances for Manchester United during nine years of his career at Old Trafford, carrying the Premier League two times.
But Chris Smalling seems to have been behind following the arrival of Harry Maguire for £80 million (90 million euros, $97 million) from Leicester City.
Chris Smalling deal cost the Italian team ‘yet to be paid’ three million euros as they target returning to Champions League football after they took sixth position last season.
“I spoke to Roma coach Paulo Fonseca before I came to the club and he told me his goals, what he wanted from me. It was something that we totally agreed on. He wants a defender that is aggressive and can cope with the runs in behind and, yes, I think it is a perfect fit for me,” he said.
The Italian football club have been stressed since Greece international Kostas Manolas left for Napoli for a reported fee of 36 million euros, and are 15th in Serie A after being held in their opening two fixtures by Genoa and city rivals Lazio.
“I am not a young player who has to prove himself –- but I like new challenges. At Manchester we had high expectations, but here in Rome there are high expectations too.” Smalling continued.
Chris Smalling assured that he had no issues moving to Rome despite his philanthropic work in Britain and vegan lifestyle.
“When I spoke to the club they knew the interest I had in my charity work, and also my vegan lifestyle. The club has put me at ease about that straight away. I’ve been speaking about the chef and the nutritionist and we are looking at different menus and things. I did not have any worries about that, from day one,” he said.