In a move that has been rumoured for a number of weeks now, Chris Smalling has signed a new contract at Manchester United.
While the defender's previous deal was set to run out at the end of the season, he has now put pen to paper on a new agreement which will see him remain at the club until 2022. His wage is believed to be around £120,000 per week.
Smalling has been at Old Trafford since 2010, making him one of the club's longest serving players. To remain at one of the world's top clubs for such a long period of time is no mean feat, especially for a player who has never been a guaranteed starter.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 15, 2018
Much like the rest of the current United squad, Smalling's form this season has been patchy at best. The team have looked very shaky at the back, with even David De Gea playing well below his usual standards.
Many (including Jose Mourinho) feel that an upgrade is needed in defence, so it may be unsurprising to hear that the news of Smalling's new contract has not been all that well received amongst the club's supporters. Some claim it is a sidewards step at a time when the club should be looking to improve, displaying the lack ambition that has been the downfall of the club in recent times.
Says everything about our club that we are actually rewarding Chris Smalling with a new contract after NINE years of mediocrity. We’re in the position we are in, quite simply, because of how incapable we are of running the biggest club in the world.
— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) December 15, 2018
"Chris Smalling has signed a new £120,000-a-week contract"
Man Utd fans right now: pic.twitter.com/uQCT7NKnPN
— Footy Humour (@FootyHumour) December 15, 2018
We could lose 10-0 tomorrow and this would still be the worst news of the weekend
— Nathan (@JustNathanD) December 15, 2018
He's done great job conceding 26 goals, we're stuck in mediocrity now aren't we?
— Reyhan (@GreenzMUFC) December 15, 2018
Cheers sons crying. Nice one.
— Chris Williams 〓〓 (@CW_182) December 15, 2018
Omfg 🤦🏻♂️ we’re such a banter club
— Nick 🇵🇪 (@PeruvianPrick6) December 15, 2018
Chris Smalling getting a new contract really shows the ambition our club has. #mufc
— Aidan Walsh 🔰 (@AidanWalshMUFC) December 15, 2018
To be fair to Smalling, he has not been United's worst performer this season. He clearly gives his all for the shirt and his manager, something that could not always be said of other members of the squad currently. It is somewhat of a marvel that a player of his limitations has survived at a club of Manchester United's size for so long, but that is through no fault of his own.
A number of other United players are nearing the end of their contracts soon, so it will be interesting to see if the club decides to stay the course or freshen things up a bit.