Chris Smalling continues to improve with every performance for Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Chris Smalling continued his blistering run of form, this time as captain, in Manchester United’s 2-1 win at Watford.

The absence of Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick from the squad meant the 25-year-old was handed the armband, and he responded with another imperious display from the back.

A glance at his stats reveals how effective he was: 100% tackles, 80% aerial duels, 83% passing, 3 interceptions, 5 clearances, 2 blocks

And with Wayne Rooney and Michael Carrick both approaching the latter stages of their careers, today provided an encouraging semblance of Man United’s future, with Smalling imperiously leading from the back whilst youngsters such as Jesse Lingard and Paddy McNair assert themselves on the starting XI.

Smalling, whose progression in this past year has been astronomical, manifested all the right attributes for a United captain; most notably, perhaps, after Watford’s equaliser, as the captain rallied his side and urged them to go for the jugular in injury time.

With United beginning to encounter another injury crisis, one can only pray that Smalling remains fit as a busy Christmas schedule beckons.

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