Smalling has heaped praise onto recent signing Victor Valdes while describing £60 million signing Angel Di Maria as a ‘special player’.
“He (Valdes) is someone that we all look up to through what he’s achieved already in his career,” said Smalling.
“On the training field he’s so sharp and you can see that he’s very agile. He’s such a great addition and is a name that really belongs here at Manchester United.”
“I remember watching his (Di Maria’s) matches for Real Madrid last season – he was up and down the pitch, creating so many goals. He is a special player.”
The main reason van Gaal will be pleased with the comments about Valdes is because they show he’s having a positive impact on other players.
There was some speculation reported by the Daily Mail that Valdes’ arrival at Old Trafford could have a negative impact within the first team environment, but the boss will be pleased that certainly isn’t the case.
In terms of Di Maria van Gaal will be pleased with regards to the positive feeling currently surrounding the Argentine from Smalling and likely from other members in the first team squad.
That should help to inspire the attacker to maintain that status with his teammates and produce his best form as he goes looking to turn important games for the club on a weekly basis.
Manchester United aren’t in bad shape as they prepare for the next stage of their FA Cup adventure and the boss will be hoping there are further repeats of positive comments from other United stars over the rest of the season.