Solskjaer reacts as Smalling returns to Manchester United

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has welcomed Chris Smalling back to the club after the defender spent last season on loan at AS Roma.

The arrival of Harry Maguire last summer saw Smalling move to Roma on a season loan deal, and the 30-year-old surpassed expectations at the Stadio Olimpico.

The Serie A giants were keen on making Smalling’s move permanent ahead of the 2020/21 campaign but United’s huge £25million asking price proved a stumbling block.

Asked about the centre-back’s future, the Norwegian replied: “I think Chris has shown over his career at Man United how valuable he is for Man United.

“And this season was about him being a regular, going to Roma, showing and proving how good a centre-back he is.

“I wanted to give Harry, Vic [Victor Lindelof] and maybe Axel [Tuanzebe] a chance and so we found out that was the best for him to go to Roma, play for a year.

“Now he’s coming back and Chris has shown this season that he’ll be valuable.

“I’ve been speaking to Chris throughout and I’ve been delighted with his season.”