Pat Nevin: Man United star has surprised me, he’s a really limited footballer

The Chelsea legend opens up about Manchester United defender Chris Smalling

Chris Smalling with Man United legend Nemanja Vidic Photo: Chris Smalling / Instagram

Pat Nevin admits he has been surprised by Manchester United defender Chris Smalling’s poor performances.

The Red Devils star has fallen down the pecking order under current Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho.

Smalling was a first-team regular under Louis van Gaal and the Dutchman even handed the centre-half the captain’s armband on occasion.

However, Mourinho signed Ivory Coast international Eric Bailly in a 30m deal from La Liga side Villarreal in 2016 summer transfer window.

The Manchester United boss alternated between Bailly, Smalling, Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo throughout the 2016-17 season with a big injury problems at the back.

Mourinho added another centre-half to his squad in the summer following the addition of Victor Lindelof in a 30m transfer from Benfica.

Smalling has been limited to appearances in the cup competitions, although he started a 2-1 loss to promoted side Huddersfield Town earlier this month.

Former Chelsea winger Nevin admitted that he has been disappointed with Smalling’s drastic drop in form.

“Smalling, I have to say, I’ve been really surprised by over the past little while. I didn’t realise how limited he is as a footballer,” Nevin told Newstalk.

Manchester United have failed to win the Premier League title since 2013, while the Red Devils’ last Champions League success in 2008.

The 20-time English champions signed Benfica defender Victor Lindelof, Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic and Everton striker Romelu Lukaku in the summer transfer window.

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