The centre-back has been one of the most improved players for Manchester United this season and is expected to be in England’s starting lineup for the 2016 Euros in France. 

 

Chris Smalling has been one of the bright spots in an otherwise poor season for Manchester United. The 26-year-old has been rock solid in defence and has held his own against the top forwards in the Premier League. His improvement this season has been massive and has prompted suggestions that he could play a major role in the Three Lions’ defensive set-up in the coming years.

Smalling wants to see his league form translate into good performances for the national team as well and is hopeful of being at the forefront of England’s Euro 2016 campaign.

“I have bigger expectations this time,” Smalling said, according to the Daily Mail. “Very much so. Hopefully I will be coming off a full season and one where I felt I contributed.

“I feel I have put my name right at the forefront and after playing the last two England games I hope I can keep that shirt and carry on my good form into the summer.

“I fully expect to be a part of it if I can keep this up because club form will get you a starting place.”

The season of Smalling

Chris Smalling has played a vital role in keeping Manchester United in the running for a top four finish. The centre-back has played 28 league games for the Red Devils and averages 1.8 tackles, 2.9 interceptions and 5.5 clearances per game in the Premier League — figures that are comparable to those of Toby Alderweireld, who has been among the best defenders in the league this season.

In 2014, Smalling played a minor role in the England squad that travelled to Brazil for the FIFA World Cup and wasn’t even the first-choice centre-back at Old Trafford. However, the Englishman has now made himself a fixture in the Manchester United first team and will be among the first players named on the England teamsheet by manager Roy Hodgson.

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