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Manchester United have been slammed for their treatment of Chris Smalling.
The former England regular is set to leave the club on a permanent deal to join Roma on transfer Deadline Day after impressing during a season-long loan deal in Serie A last season.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not mentioned the possibility of reintroducing Smalling into his first-team plans despite the recent poor form of his central defenders including captain Harry Maguire.
Darren Bent has now questioned the aforementioned stance, naming Smalling as in improvement on their options.
While talking about the 30-year-old on Sky Sports News , Bent said “I don’t understand why there’s such an issue as I’d have kept him.
"Defensively, he’s better than what they’ve got.
“He might not be the most pleasing on the ball when it comes to playing out from the back like a modern centre-half but when you want someone to actually defend, Chris Smalling is very good at doing that.
“I don’t quite understand why they’re so eager to let him walk out the door.”
Solskjaer said when asked about the future of Smalling in September: "At the moment, we've not had any bids up to the level that we want. So that's the situation."
Having said in August: “I think Chris has shown over his Manchester United career how valuable he is at Manchester United.”
The Norwegian boss stated last season that the expected Smalling to return to the club ahead of the current campaign, and appeared to be delighted with his performances in Italy.
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He said: ”Chris has been fantastic. We know that sometimes if you change the environment it can go both ways.
“Chris is the type to relish these challenges and he's cultured and he enjoys life there.
“It's a different life, it's a new experience for him. He's a boy who, he couldn't be here without being a regular and we decided on that and I'm so, so happy for him, because we can see the top player that he is.”
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- Harry Maguire
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