Chris Smalling

Chris Smalling

Smalling playing for Manchester United in 2016
Personal information
Full name Christopher Lloyd Smalling[1]
Date of birth (1989-11-22) 22 November 1989[1]
Place of birth Greenwich, England
Height 1.93 m (6 ft 4 in)[2]
Playing position Centre-back
Club information
Current team
Manchester United
Number 12
Youth career
200?–2007 Maidstone United
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2008 Maidstone United
2008–2010 Fulham 13 (0)
2010– Manchester United 142 (7)
National team
2008 England Schools U18 5 (1)
2009 England U20 1 (0)
2009–2011 England U21 14 (1)
2011– England 29 (1)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 18:11, 23 October 2016 (UTC).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 22:33, 24 September 2016 (UTC)

Christopher Lloyd "Chris" Smalling (born 22 November 1989) is an English professional footballer who plays as a centre-back for Premier League club Manchester United and the England national team.

During his youth, Smalling played for the Millwall academy before joining local non-League side Maidstone United. He was selected for the Kent Schools under-17 squad in 2005 before progressing to the under-18s in 2007, and his performances for Kent Schools resulted in him being selected to play for the England Schools under-18 squad in 2008. During this time Smalling had also established himself in the Maidstone United first team, and his impressive displays for club and country led to him signing a two-year deal with Middlesbrough in May 2008.

Barely a month after signing for Middlesbrough however, Smalling had his contract with the club terminated after raising concerns with home sickness. Shortly after, in June 2008, he signed for Premier League side Fulham. He made his professional debut with them in May 2009 in the final game of the 2008–09 season and helped them reach the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final the following season.

In January 2010, Smalling signed a pre-contract agreement with Manchester United and joined them officially on 1 July. He made his competitive debut in the 2010 FA Community Shield victory over Chelsea which earned him his first career medal. Since his debut, he has gone on to make more than 100 appearances for the club.

Smalling has represented England at various levels and is currently a member of the England senior squad. He played for the England Schools under-18 team in early 2008 before making his debut for the under-20 team and the under-21 team in 2009. He made his debut for the England senior squad in the 3–0 win over Bulgaria on 2 September 2011.

Club career

Maidstone United

Smalling was born in Greenwich, London.[1] He began playing football in 1998 for Walderslade. After a short spell at Millwall's academy, a 16-year-old Smalling joined Maidstone United's youth set-up and continued his education at Chatham Grammar School for Boys.[3]

After rising through Maidstone's youth and reserve team set-up under the tutelage of coaches Peter Nott and Tony Cornwell,[3] Smalling made his first-team debut for 'The Stones' on 11 April 2007 in a 4–1 loss against Tonbridge Angels in the Kent Senior Cup.[4] After making further appearances in the FA Trophy and Isthmian League Cup, December 2007 saw Smalling made his league debut for the club playing the full 90 minutes in a 1–1 draw against Harlow Town.[5] Smalling impressed and quickly established himself as a vital part of Maidstone's backline, however injury and international duty restricted him to making only 11 more appearances for the Kent side.[6] Smalling scored one goal for Maidstone, scoring in a 4–2 win at East Thurrock United on 24 March 2008, a game which was also his last for the club.[7]


Smalling training with Fulham in 2009

After attracting strong interest from Fulham, Gillingham, Charlton Athletic and Reading,[8] Smalling signed for Middlesbrough on a two-year deal on 30 April 2008.[8][9] However soon after his contract with Boro was cancelled with Smalling concerned about homesickness,[10] and in June 2008 he signed for Premier League side Fulham.[11] Smalling was not on a contract at Maidstone (as it would have prohibited him from playing for England Schoolboys), and as such the Isthmian League club were not entitled to a fee for the player, however Fulham struck a deal which saw Maidstone given £10,000 upon the transfer and £10,000 for every 10 league games he played.[12] He was made captain of the club's Development Squad by manager Billy McKinlay.[13]

On 24 May 2009, Smalling made his Premier League debut for Fulham, replacing Aaron Hughes in the 77th minute in the final game of the 2008–09 season in a 2–0 home loss to Everton.[14] Smalling made his first start for Fulham in on 17 September, in an away tie with CSKA Sofia in the UEFA Europa League with the match ending 1–1.[15] On 28 December, Smalling made his first league start for Fulham, in a 2–1 loss against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in Fulham's final game of 2009 and scored a decisive own goal in the 75th minute of the match.[16] He was not in the matchday squad for the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final, in which Fulham were beaten 2–1 after extra time by Atlético Madrid at the Volksparkstadion.[17]

Manchester United

On 27 January 2010, Manchester United announced that they had signed Smalling, for an undisclosed fee, with the player staying at Fulham for the remainder of the 2009–10 season before joining United for the beginning 2010–11 campaign.[18] The transfer officially went through on 1 July.[19]

2010–11 season

Smalling made his debut for United on 8 August in the 2010 FA Community Shield, appearing as a second-half substitute in a 3–1 win over Chelsea.[20] His Premier League debut for United came in their 3–0 home win over West Ham United on 28 August, coming on as a 74th-minute substitute for Jonny Evans.[21] On 15 September, he made his UEFA Champions League debut, playing the full 90 minutes in a 0–0 draw at home against Rangers.[22] Eight days later, Smalling scored his first goal for Manchester United, also his first senior career goal, in a 5–2 away win over Scunthorpe United in the League Cup.[23] Smalling then made his full Premier League debut for United on 4 January 2011, partnering Nemanja Vidić for the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 home win against Stoke City.[24] On 8 July 2011, Smalling signed a new five-year contract with United.[25]

2011–12 season

Smalling playing for Manchester United in 2011

Smalling scored his first goal of the 2011–12 season in the 2011 FA Community Shield against United's local rivals Manchester City, volleying an Ashley Young free kick from close range to reduce the deficit to 2–1. Manchester United went on to win the game 3–2 and take the Shield. The new season also saw Smalling adapt to a new role, as early injuries to Nemanja Vidić, Rio Ferdinand and Rafael allowed Smalling, Jonny Evans and new signing Phil Jones to replace them. Evans and Jones played as central defenders whereas Smalling was deployed as a right-back. Smalling scored his first ever Premier League goal against title rivals Chelsea at Old Trafford on 18 September 2011, rising unmarked to place a header into the far corner to open the scoring, in a game United went on to win 3–1. Smalling was ruled out of the last Premier League fixture of the season and also for England's UEFA Euro 2012 campaign due to a groin injury he sustained during Manchester United's 2–0 win over Swansea City in the penultimate week of the Premier League season.[26]

2012–13 season

It was announced on 21 July 2012, that Smalling would miss the start of the season after being ruled out for 10 weeks after undergoing surgery on a broken metatarsal. The injury ruled him out of the entire pre-season tour. He made his return on 7 November 2012, playing the full 90 minutes in a 3–1 win away to Portuguese side Braga in the UEFA Champions League.[27] He made his Premier League return three days later, helping his side to a 3–2 win against Aston Villa.[28]

2013–14 season

Smalling playing for Manchester United in 2015

On 27 November 2013, Smalling scored his first UEFA Champions League goal in a 5–0 win away to Bayer Leverkusen.[29] On 26 December 2013, he scored in a 3–2 win against Hull City.[30]

2014–15 season

Smalling was sent off in the first half of United's 1–0 defeat in the Manchester derby on 2 November 2014.[31] Manager Louis van Gaal deemed Smalling "stupid" for his second yellow card in the match, awarded for a foul on James Milner.[32] However, Smalling returned to action playing the full 90 minutes in a 2–1 away victory over Arsenal. On 29 November, he scored his first Premier League goal of the season in a 3–0 victory over Hull City at Old Trafford, it was also his first Old Trafford goal in three years.[33][34] On 11 February 2015, Smalling scored the first brace of his career, and became the first player in the history of the Premier League to score 2 first half goals as a substitute, after appearing as a fifth-minute substitute in a 3–1 victory against Burnley.[35] On 12 April 2015, he scored his fourth goal of the season in a 4–2 win over Manchester City.[36]

On 21 April 2015, Smalling signed a new contract with Manchester United, keeping him at the club until June 2019.[37] Having been praised by manager Louis van Gaal for his command of the defensive unit, Smalling captained United for the first time on 17 May 2015 during a 1–1 draw against Arsenal.[38][39]

International career

Smalling playing for the England under-21 team in 2009


At the age of 17 and studying for his A Levels, Smalling was selected to represent his county (Kent), and the Kent Schools' Football Association then nominated him for trials for the England Schoolboy international squad.[40] His trial was successful, and Smalling was selected to represent England Schools against Australia in January 2008.[41] England won 2–0,[42] and Smalling went on to play for England in the Centenary Shield, playing all four matches which including 1–0 victory against Wales Schools in which he scored the only goal.[43]

Smalling made his debut for the England under-20 team 31 March 2009, playing 45 minutes in a 2–0 win against Italy at Loftus Road.[44] On 11 August, four months after his under-20 debut, he made his debut for the under-21 squad in a friendly fixture against the Netherlands, coming on as a substitute in the 58th minute of a 0–0 away draw.[45] On 14 November, Smalling made first start for the under-21s in a 2011 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifier against Portugal at Wembley Stadium in a 1–0 win.[46] He scored his first goal for the Under-21s on 8 October 2010 against Romania in England's 2011 U21 European Championship play-off first leg, converting from inside the area after an assist from Daniel Sturridge. The goal, scored in the 83rd minute, proved to be the winner as England won 2–1.[47]


On 13 November 2010, Smalling was called up to the England senior squad for the first time for their friendly against France on 17 November;[48] however, he was an unused substitute in the 2–1 loss.[49] He made his senior debut in the UEFA Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria on 2 September 2011, which England won 3–0, in which he played at right-back.[50]

On 12 May 2014, Smalling was named in England's 23-man squad for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.[51] With England's elimination from the group stages already confirmed, Smalling was given a tournament debut as a starter in the final group match, helping the team to a clean sheet in a 0–0 draw with Costa Rica in Belo Horizonte.[52]

In England's final warmup game for UEFA Euro 2016, Smalling scored his first goal for England in a 1-0 victory over Portugal.[53]

Career statistics


Smalling (left) signing memorabilia in 2011
As of match played 23 October 2016
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Fulham 2008–09[54] Premier League 10000010
2009–10[55] Premier League 12010104[lower-alpha 1]0180
Total 130101040190
Manchester United 2010–11[56] Premier League 16040319[lower-alpha 2]01[lower-alpha 3]0331
2011–12[57] Premier League 19120107[lower-alpha 4]01[lower-alpha 3]1302
2012–13[58] Premier League 15050002[lower-alpha 2]0220
2013–14[59] Premier League 25110407[lower-alpha 2]11[lower-alpha 3]0382
2014–15[60] Premier League 2544000294
2015–16[61] Premier League 350712011[lower-alpha 5]1552
2016–17[62] Premier League 7100102[lower-alpha 1]000101
Total 14272311113823121712
Career total 15572411214223123612
  1. 1 2 Appearances in UEFA Europa League
  2. 1 2 3 Appearances in UEFA Champions League
  3. 1 2 3 Appearance FA Community Shield
  4. Four appearances in UEFA Champions League, three in UEFA Europa League
  5. Eight appearances and one goal in UEFA Champions League, three appearances in UEFA Europa League


As of match played 27 June 2016[63]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National teamYearAppsGoals
England 201120

International goals

As of match played 27 June 2016. England score listed first, score column indicates score after each Smalling goal.[63]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition Ref
1 2 June 2016Wembley Stadium, London, England25 Portugal1–01–0Friendly[64]



Manchester United



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