Chris Smalling.

Ole provides update on Smalling's situation

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reiterated Chris Smalling's value to Manchester United after the defender's loan deal with Roma was ended.

The centre-back was a big hit in Serie A, and posted on social media to say: “To experience the love shown to me in such a short time was extra special and it will not be forgotten. I want to thank and wish all the players and staff the best of luck against Sevilla [in the Europa League].”

In total, the 30-year-old made 30 league appearances in 2019/20, scoring three times, and was very popular with the club's passionate supporters.

“I think Chris has shown, over his career at Manchester United, how valuable he is for United,” Ole said at a press conference ahead of Wednesday's Europa League second leg with LASK. “This season was about him being a regular and going to Roma, showing and proving how good a centre-back he is.

“I wanted to give Harry [Maguire] and Victor [Lindelof] and maybe Axel [Tuanzebe] a chance and so he found out that it was best for him to go to Roma to play for a year.

“Now he's coming back. Chris has shown this season that he will be valuable so I've been speaking to Chris throughout and been delighted with his season.”

Eric Bailly has also returned to the fray after being sidelined due to injury at the start of the campaign, while youngster Teden Mengi has been promoted to the Europa League squad, and Ole did not agree with one question that he might need to buy a central defender during the window because of a need for more pace.

“We’re always looking to improve the team and squad,” he said. “But I think we’re very, very solid at the back. Sometimes, you might be exposed behind you when pressing as high as we’ve done. We decided we’re going to be a high-pressing team, when we can. If you don’t take risks, you won’t improve. Once in a while, it’s been that they’ve found some space behind us but I’ve not been concerned about it.”

Watch Tuesday's press conferenceVideo

When asked directly about the market and any desire to conclude deals quickly, with the 2020/21 season due to start next month, he replied: “Well, this transfer window is a long one and every transfer takes its course. It is what it is and, at the moment, there are no updates for you anyway. If there is any news, we’ll update you.”

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