HUDDERSFIELD, ENGLAND - MAY 05: Chris Smalling of Manchester United arrives prior to the Premier League match between Huddersfield Town and Manchester United at John Smith's Stadium on May 05, 2019 in Huddersfield, United Kingdom. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

According to Corriere Dello Sport, Tottenham Hotspur are interested in the services of Chris Smalling. The Manchester United defender, who is currently at AS Roma on loan, is facing an uncertain future in Rome following the club’s underwhelming performances this season. As a result, Spurs and Everton have been alerted to the situation of Smalling, who could cost around €20 million.

Smalling’s redemption at AS Roma

One of the maligned figures in the Manchester United setup, Smalling was forced to move to AS Roma, following the big-money arrival of Harry Maguire last summer. And since then, he has enjoyed a rapid rise in stock, thanks to his consistent performances in the Serie A.

Indeed, Smalling has become a key component of the AS Roma defence this season. His ability to read the game coupled with his dogged defensive nature has helped minimise the club’s defensive frailties. In fact, the Englishman has averaged an astonishing tally of 2.2 interceptions and 4.3 clearances per game – more than any other player in the team.

Moreover, Smalling’s imposing presence at the back has helped Paulo Fonseca to deal with an injury crisis earlier in the campaign. He has now built a formidable defensive partnership with Gianluca Mancini.

Stat courtesy: Whoscored

MOENCHENGLADBACH, GERMANY – NOVEMBER 07: Chris Smalling of AS Roma reacts during the UEFA Europa League group J match between Borussia Moenchengladbach and AS Roma at Borussia-Park on November 07, 2019 in Moenchengladbach, Germany. (Photo by Jörg Schüler/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Where does Smalling fit in at Spurs?

Tottenham Hotspur have lacked balance in their defensive unit this season. Toby Alderweireld has been the only consistent performer, but at the age of 30, he is nearing the final phase of his career. Same can be said about Jan Vertonghen while Jose Mourinho has not utilised young Juan Foyth. However, the former Man United manager has been able to improve Davinson Sanchez.

Smalling should add more depth in the defensive department, especially with Foyth unlikely to have a future under Mourinho. He can offer competition to the likes of Sanchez, Vertonghen and even Alderweireld, thus allowing the Portuguese mastermind to become more flexible as far as his team selection is concerned.

An ideal replacement for Vertonghen?

Vertonghen’s future at Tottenham remains a doubt, with his current contract ending at the end of the season. Smalling, in that regard, could emerge as a potential candidate to replace the ageing Belgian.

But at the same time, Smalling himself is 30 years old. Even though he has a considerable amount of experience in the Premier League, he is certainly not a viable long-term replacement option for Vertonghen, particularly due to the contrasting style of between the two defenders.

Smalling is a more robust individual, while Vertonghen likes to rely on his positional sense. But made no mistake – Spurs should try getting hold of this Man United defender in the summer and proceed with the acquisition of another quality defender if they are to resolve their defensive issues next season.

A 22 y/o football nerd seeking my way into football writing. I love Irish football and also the Premier League. A huge Arsenal fan! Aside from writing, I like to spend my time fishing and drinking beer.