. Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney has heaped praise on teammate Chris Smalling, and suggests that his fellow Englishman is one of the top three centrebacks in the world.

Rooney stated a brave statement about Chris Smalling, but one that he deserves. Smalling’s form has been exceptionally good and unquestionable under Louis Van Gaal.

Smalling development of becoming a leader

Manchester United have conceded just two goals and kept six clean sheets this season, and that is mainly down to Chris Smalling commanding the United defence.

a He is in the top three centre-halves in the world a I think he is that good! He is a great player and he is developing to become more of a leader of the back four. It is great to see for both United and England, and hopefully that can continue for him and he can help us to be successful.a , said Rooney, as reported by goal.com.

Adapting at a young age

Rooney also hailed Smalling for adjusting superbly at a very young age. The 25-year old arrived at Old Trafford aat quite a immature age, but Rooney, who has home through such a phase himself, has praised Smalling for adapting brilliantly.

a I think he has been incredible, how he has come over to Manchester and started the way he has. Leta s not forget he is still a very young lad as well. To come over with his young family and start the way he has, he deserves a lot of credit.

a You can see what a good player he is and hea ll be an important player for us from now until the end of the season. He is probably the quickest player in our team, if not the quickest in the league.a

Manchester United vs Manchester City

No Manchester United player had more appearances in the premier league last season than Chris Smalling, and the Englishman is establishing himself as one of the best defenders in the world with his deceptive strength and physicality. Even in the 0-0 draw at Old Trafford against Manchester United, Smalling’s performance was instrumental in keeping Wilfred Bony at bay. He has been rock solid in defense so far this season, and Van Gaal will know Smalling is be crucial to United’s fate this season.