Smalling signs new United deal

The improved contract is recognition of the 21-year-old’s

outstanding debut season, when he made 34 appearances and far

exceeded the expectations of Sir Alex Ferguson following a

£7million summer move from Fulham. It was enough to secure him

a first Premier League title medal, while he was also part of the

United side that defeated Chelsea in last season’s Community

Shield. “I am delighted Chris has signed a new contract,” said

Ferguson. “Chris has been outstanding since joining us from Fulham

last year. “He is an extremely talented young defender. He is

quick, strong and reads the game well. He is a great asset to the

team.” Having been one of the few members of England’s Under-21

squad to emerge with any credit from a disappointing European

Championship campaign in Denmark last month, Smalling will return

to United on Monday ahead of the flight to the United States for a

five-match pre-season tour. The departures yesterday of

long-serving duo Wes Brown and John O’Shea to Sunderland emphasise

how much belief Ferguson has in Smalling, who has been joined at

Old Trafford this summer by England U21 defensive partner Phil

Jones. “This is a great club and in the short time I have been here

I have already achieved more than I could have ever expected to,”

said the Londoner. “I am looking forward to a long and successful

career at Manchester United.”