One of the most unpopular players to have been linked with Arsenal in recent times is Chris Smalling.
Most Arsenal fans would feel it is a case of Manchester United selling a player that has failed to make the grade at Old Trafford to us again.
One of my mates even ridiculously argued that signing Smalling would be like landing Mikael Silvestre again.
I understand why fans would rather sign another defender instead of Smalling, but I think we cannot take it away from the Englishman that he has improved in Italy.
The Italian Serie A is one of the toughest divisions in Europe and despite the reputation of the Premier League as the toughest in the world, playing in Italy could be even tougher.
Most Italian teams are set up to defend and that means you have to be very good at that to make the starting XI each week and that is something that Smalling has done.
Paolo Fonseca recently discussed his surprise at the adaptation of Smalling and I think it isn’t just a one-season improvement.
Smalling has become a better defender and at his age, he is at the peak of his career.
He needed that new experience to toughen him up and to get him prepared to enjoy the peak of his career.
We can take a chance on him and if he turns out to be a success at the Emirates, he would be a major success because he now enjoys playing football again.
An article from Ime