Man United defender reacts to transfer speculation

Chris Smalling admits that the transfer speculation over the summer caused him to step his game up at Manchester United

Chris Smalling insists that the transfer speculation linking Manchester United with a new central defender during the summer transfer window caused him to step his game up.

The England international defender has been a regular fixture in Louis van Gaal’s first team this season and has started 19 of the Red Devils’ 20 Premier League games so far this term.

United were heavily linked with bids for a number of defenders during the summer months, and eventually ended up signing full-back Matteo Darmian from Torino.

And Smalling, who has scored one goal in all competitions so far this season, has conceded that he has upped his game amid the speculation that United were set to add further competition for him at centre-half.

Smalling told MUTV: “It does spur you on. When you come to Manchester United, in every transfer window – whether the team is doing well or badly – there are always players linked with the club because this club is always linked with the best players.

“It keeps you on your toes and spurs you on. You can’t rest on six months of good performances because as soon as you have a blip, there is always another player to take your place.”

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Smalling helped United return to winning ways in the Premier League on Saturday as he played the full 90 minutes in the 2-1 win over Swansea City at Old Trafford.

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