Gary Pallister likens Chris Smalling to Man United legend

Former Man United defender Gary Pallister heaps praise on Chris Smalling

Gary Pallister has likened Chris Smalling to Manchester United legend Steve Bruce.

The England international has emerged as Louis van Gaal’s first-choice centre-half this season after being ever-present in the United side.

Smalling has started all 12 of their Premier League games despite featuring alongside different centre-half partners throughout the campaign.

Former United defender Pallister, who won four Premier League titles and four FA Cups at Old Trafford, heaped praise on Smalling after his performances so far this season.

“I would probably liken Chris more to Brucey and Nemanja. He loves the defending side of the game, which is what we’ve needed from a centre-half, to just be aggressive, be tough, make the tackles and head the balls, dominate the penalty box. All the things that Brucey was and I wasn’t,” former Red Devils defender Pallister told United Review.

“He’s now a proper defender. He’s more confident, he’s enjoyed a good run in the team and he’s enjoyed the responsibility the manager has given him in making him captain on occasions.”

Smalling has helped the 20-time English champions keep five successive clean sheet in their last five games in all competitions.

The Red Devils are in second place in the Premier League table but just one point behind leaders Manchester City and Arsenal.

MORE: Read the latest Man United player tweets

Van Gaal’s men make the trip to newly-promoted Watford at Vicarage Road in their next top-flight outing in 21 November.

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