Chris Smalling hopes recent form in big games earns him England recall for World Cup

by Alex Turk

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is hoping his football will do the talking in his bid for a place in Gareth Southgate’s England squad for the 2018 Russia World Cup this summer.

The 28-year-old’s chances of a place on the plane have looked bleak after being snubbed for other breakthrough defenders such as Leicester City’s Harry Maguire and Burnley’s James Tarkowski in Southgate’s recent plans.

However, Smalling has experienced a great uprise in his form as United have defeated Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City already this year, as well pulling off another stand-out performance on Saturday evening as Tottenham Hotspur were beaten 2-1 in the FA Cup Semi-Finals.

After enjoying a solid game alongside fellow Englishmen Phil Jones in the heart of defence at Wembley Stadium as they kept one of the country’s biggest threats in Harry Kane quiet, Smalling was asked about his international future and replied: “Of course you want to be playing in the summer. All you can do is let your football do the talking.”

He continued: “All I can do is play the games and at the minute I’m playing every game and performing in big games so I’ll just keep doing my job,” he said when asked about a potential England recall.”

Smalling has conjured up 31 England caps over a six-year period from 2011-2017 and his sudden exclusion was a surprise for many, but he is now focused on ending the season strongly with Manchester United, which they are on course to do with a record-equalling 20th FA Cup Final just around the corner, and then see what happens this summer.

“I think I’ve been a mainstay in the set-up for quite a while now and I just want to finish the season as strongly as I can and see what happens,” he added. “At the minute there are no conversations and I’m going to keep playing my games.”

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