With great pace, power and intelligence, Chris Smalling remains the heir apparant to Rio Ferdinand in the role of ball-playing centre-back.
Incredibly, just 18 months after arriving at Fulham from non-league Maidstone, defender Chris Smalling agreed to terms that would make him a Manchester United player from 1 July 2010.
His first campaign at Old Trafford went better than anyone could have expected and, having been given chances to impress in various competitions, namely the UEFA Champions League and League Cup, he looked completely at home in M16.
An injury to mentor Ferdinand
ultimately proved beneficial as Smalling enjoyed an extended run in the team, contributing to his impressive tally of 33 first-team appearances. Of course, a title winners' medal was also earned during an impressive debut campaign.
The defender's impressive exploits were later rewarded with a new five-year deal, which was signed in July 2011 ahead of a promising start to his second term with the champions, which was largely spent at right-back while Rafael was sidelined through injury.
Unfortunately, Chris also spent time in the treatment room that season and missed a selection