Jul 15, 2017

At just £12 million, could this defender be the bargain of the summer for Arsenal or West Brom?

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It may not come as a huge surprise to many that The Sun claim that Jose Mourinho is planning to sell Chris Smalling this summer. The former Maidstone United defender has suffered with form and fitness issues this season and his manager has publicly criticised him as a result.

Now, it seems that he may be on the market, though it does come as a surprise that the report indicates that he would be available for as little as £12 million this summer. Both Arsenal and West Brom have been linked with making a move for the central defender.

Is a £12 million valuation fair?

Given some of the fees changing hands in this summer transfer window, it seems on the low side. An England international with top level experience, fans may be wondering how he is worth only half of Michael Keane or one sixth of Virgil Van Dijk’s rumoured asking price.

Smalling is undoubtedly a quality option and with Arsenal lacking that kind of experience at the heart of their defence, they may be tempted to make a move. For West Brom too, signing a player of such quality could be considered a real coup and it would certainly seem to be within their transfer budget, though wages may be another matter.

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Could United regret selling him?

Whilst Smalling may well be a bargain at that price, it is clear to see why United may be keen to get rid. Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof are, on paper at least, better quality options who should ensure that Smalling won’t be missed next season.

The concern may be the lack of experience at centre-back, with Daley Blind likely to assume the role of the most experienced in the position alongside two young and raw players. Another worry could be the impact of potential injuries or rotation requirements, with Phil Jones also likely to leave, meaning Michael Carrick may be played out of position until Marcos Rojo returns to fitness.

Does he need a move to reignite his career?

It would seem so. Given that he appears to have lost the confidence of manager Jose Mourinho, the support of Tony Pulis or Arsene Wenger may help to revive his form and ensure that he has a squad in the England squad for the World Cup in Russia next summer.

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Sam is a Southend United fan and student based in the South-West. He has previously worked for various publications, including FourFourTwo magazine and ITV. Sam also has an extensive knowledge of Spanish football and has previously lived and worked in Spain. Find Sam on Twitter at @samleveridge.

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