Arsenal willing to pay £25m for 30-year-old English star – Would it be a useful move?


Why Arsenal should proceed with their move for Chris Smalling

As per Gazzetta Dello Sport (h/t Express), Arsenal are willing to pay £25m for English defender Chris Smalling, who is currently on loan with AS Roma in Italy.

Smalling, 30, came through Millwall and Maidstone United’s youth ranks before joining Fulham in 2008. Two years later, Manchester United signed him. He made 323 appearances for the Red Devils and was sent on loan last summer to Italy.

He has been impressive for the Italian side this season and has improved a lot after struggling for United in the last two campaigns. Though Roma have not been at their best, Smalling has helped them keep 6 clean sheets in the league and has been one of the best players for them this term.

Chris Smalling (Getty Images)
Chris Smalling (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Arsenal have been inconsistent despite the arrival of Mikel Arteta. After 4 consecutive draws, the Gunners have won the last three Premier League games and are currently 9th in the league standings.

One of the chief reasons for their inconsistency is the lack of stability in their defensive line. David Luiz and Sokratis were the first-choice defenders for the majority of the season and they were not at their best. Shkodran Mustafi has also struggled to find form and could not cement a place for himself in the absence of the Greek international.

However, Mikel Arteta brought in Pablo Mari from Flamengo and the Spaniard has shown glimpses of taking control at the back. Though he has done well, he is on a loan spell and nothing is sure of his commitment to the club in the future.

Therefore, the manager should bring in reinforcements to the defensive unit, which has conceded 36 goals in the league already, a poor record according to their standards. In this case, Chris Smalling would be a good addition to the Gunners’ squad, considering his experience.

Chris Smalling on loan at AS Roma. (Getty images)
Chris Smalling on loan at AS Roma. (Getty Images)

The 30-year-old has brought a change in his game and has been performing well in Serie A this season. And he can be used either as a starter or as a substitute at Arsenal. He is capable of playing at a higher level given he continues with the same form.

A central defender by trade, Smalling is capable of playing at right-back as well. And this could be helpful for the Gunners as first-choice Hector Bellerin is prone to injuries.

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Chris Smalling could add stability to Arsenal’s defence (Getty Images)


Though Smalling is 30, he has experience in the Premier League and could be seen as a viable option to strengthen the squad. Arsenal are in dire need of defensive cover and they should take their chances with the former Fulham man.

Therefore, they should accept Manchester United’s asking price for the central defender and lure him to the Emirates.