Manchester United forward James Wilson told supporters in a Q&A on Facebook the fastest player in the current squad is none other than England international Chris Smalling.
As reported on manutd.com, the 19-year-old forward took part in a short Q&A session with fans and surprised everyone with the answer to his last reported question. According to Wilson, the statistics taken from the GPS tracking devices in training show the England defender to be fastest in the side – even quicker than the likes of Luke Shaw and Ashley Young.
‘’We wear GPS tracking devices in training and they tell you how far you have run and how fast,’’ explained Wilson.
‘’Obviously there are players like Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, myself and a few others, but going on stats it is probably Chris Smalling. That is maybe not who you would think, but Chris has got pretty good speed.’’
Following the striker’s comments on Facebook, supporters quickly took to Twitter to express their surprise at his answer to the question.
Although the 25-year-old is portrayed as the club’s fastest central defender, few would have bet on him being named as the fastest player overall. In fact, as shown by the reaction on Twitter, very few people would have even said he was close.
Chris Smalling is the fastest player in the squad. Play him up front with Wilson, LVG!— John (@ThatBoyJohny_) February 5, 2015
James Wilson claims Smalling is Uniteds fastest player. You got some cleaning up to do @EASPORTSFIFA— Thomas (@tksEngen) February 5, 2015
Chris smalling is Manchester United's fastest player HAHAHAHAHA— ทิโมธี (@timtanic_) February 5, 2015
Chris Smalling is the fastest player in squad haha that GPS tracker is wrong i guess— Vikash (@VikashVik69) February 5, 2015
According to the Mirror last year, Wayne Rooney [31.2 km/h] and Antonio Valencia [35.1 km/h] were among the top 10 recorded footballers in the world. However, Phil Jagielka was said to have beaten that earlier this season when the Daily Mail reported he was recorded at a speed of 35.99 km/h.
The general consensus on Twitter was that new boy Angel Di Maria was in fact the fastest in the Manchester United side and could prove it with numbers as the premierleague.com had him down as the fastest recorded Manchester United player this season, clocked at a speed of 35.1 km/h.
Although Angel di Maria may be the quickest player at recorded in competitive matches, it would not be at all surprising to see someone else, like Smalling, to regularly win the accolade in training.
In a match, the midfielders are often closing down the ball and chasing the play whereas defenders will work on their positioning, therefore reducing the need to sprint in games.