Louis van Gaal: Chris Smalling ‘integral’ to Man United

Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal discusses Chris Smalling's role in his Red Devils squad

Louis van Gaal says Chris Smalling is an integral part of his Manchester United squad.

The 25-year-old centre-half signed a new four-and-a-half year deal with the 20-time English champions on Tuesday afternoon which will see the defender stay at Old Trafford until June 2019.

Smalling has been a regular fixture in Van Gaal’s first-team in recent months after his return from injury, scoring in their 4-2 victory over Manchester City in the derby earlier this month.

United manager Van Gaal is pleased with Smalling’s development since the Dutchman took charge of the Red Devils last May.

Van Gaal told United’s website: “Chris has improved and developed immensely during the short time that I have been at the club and has become an integral part of the first-team squad.

“He always conducts himself in a very professional manner and it is also pleasing that he has scored some important goals this season too. I am delighted he has signed a new contract.”

The England international was part of two of United’s title-winning squads under Sir Alex Ferguson following his move to the Manchester club from Fulham in 2010.

More: Smalling excited by Man United future after signing new deal

Smalling has already racked up 147 appearances for United in his five-year United career so far, scoring nine goals in all competitions.

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