Manchester United's Chris Smalling on why he works well with Daley Blind

Chris Smalling

Smalling and Blind have so far kept every Premier League side they've faced at bay.

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has been explaining the advantages of his central defensive partnership with Daley Blind to the Manchester Evening News, though the Dutchman is not renowned for being a centre-back.

Blind has played both as a defensive midfielder and at left-back, and there were thoughts the Dutchman may not be the biggest player to play the role, but Smalling has explained to the Manchester Evening News just how they get around that particular challenge.

He said: “It is good to keep playing each game and knowing that there are not too many changes at the moment because we are doing well, so I hope to keep that up.

“It’s comfortable playing next to Daley.

“Sometimes if there is a big opponent we will swap around. But he can handle himself as well so I am enjoying playing alongside him.

“He has played at wing-back and full-back as well. All across the back four, they can look after themselves – Luke (Shaw), (Matteo) Darmian as well.”

Three Premier League games and three clean sheets will certainly suggest that Louis van Gaal has got something right with his back line, with Smalling praising the full-backs Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian who have both been pretty impressive at the start of this season. 

It seems as though Smalling gets through the more physical work and will help out Blind whenever he can get targeted, while he is very comfortable in possession due to his versatility, especially given his experience of playing in the middle of the park.

So far it seems to be an effective central defensive partnership, even if there has been some clamour for a new defender to be signed from outside the club.  

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