Manchester United star Chris Smalling has extended his stay at Old Trafford since his previous contract was set to expire in the summer.
The Englishman is in his ninth season at the club with many fans shocked to see him still a regular in the starting XI.
Smalling and Phil Jones face plenty of continuous criticism due to their injury problems and proneness to errors with supporters calling for them to be sold whenever either occurs.
The former Fulham man has been a mainstay this season and arguably Jose Mourinho’s most reliable centre-back so far as his teammates fitness and form continues to crumble.
Fan favourites Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly haven’t had successful seasons just yet with the former picking up a head of steam before suffering injury while the latter has been shunned by the Portuguese manager.
Congrats, Chris! 😃 pic.twitter.com/iKFK32ep84
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 15, 2018
While some fans have gone into meltdown believing Chris should’ve seen out his contracts, others aren’t reading too much into it, choosing to believe it’s simply United’s way of protecting their assets.
Mourinho has never complained of the centre-back by name in comparison to others though he has complained of their tendency to suffer injuries.
Smalling though has been the Red Devils fittest defender so far this season, which he attributes to a vegetarian lifestyle.