Chris Smalling has opened up over his injury situation at Man United, admitting he’s determined to prove himself to Jose Mourinho next season.
The Englishman has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer with fans disappointed with some of his performances over the course of the season.
Jose Mourinho had even called Smalling out twice during the campaign as he believed he could have played through the pain barrier against Swansea in November and then thought he was being too cautious over his return to football this month.
Speaking about his future ideas, Smalling is hoping to cement himself in Mourinho’s plans for the pre-season tour to America
“I’m looking forward to getting back to pre-season, staying injury free and showing the manager what I can do,” he said.
“There have been ups and downs this season.
“I’ve had two injuries that have both been two months out so I’ve missed half of the season.
“It means I’ve not had that consistency that I’ve had over the last two seasons but it is nice to finish on a high with the Europa League.
“Hopefully I can go away with England and then in pre-season, I can get a clean bill of health and have a season like the last couple.
“The previous seasons I’ve been able to stay fit and play 50-plus games. It is frustrating when you are missing months of the season at a time.
“But I’m hoping that I can start afresh in pre-season and do the job.
“That is also because there have been a lot of injuries at centre-back, too.
“All those positions are up for grabs and the fact we are now in the Champions League means there is going to be more pressure.”
It was a surprise to see him in the Europa League final over Phil Jones, but he actually played well and it was almost like the Mike Smalling of last season was back on the pitch.
It’s clear that he has it inside him, but Smalling really needs to work on his consistency as he’s let the side down on several occasions this season.