If you’d told us before the summer transfer window that Chris Smalling would be a Roma player for this campaign, we would have chuckled a bit.

After all, the move wasn’t really one anyone saw coming, but after being told he might not start every game at Manchester United, the centre-back very quickly found himself a new, albeit temporary, home in Italy’s capital.

The best part about it, at least for Smalling, is that it’s gone really well, to the point where he is already a fan favourite and Roma want to make the move permanent.

Following some good performances (minus the recent 2-0 loss to Parma), the defender sat down with his club’s TV station to discuss how things were going and what it was like to work under manager Paulo Fonseca. 

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He said: “He’s been fantastic. Even before I signed, and we spoke on the phone, and then straight after it just moved so quickly, because it felt right.

“It obviously helps that he can speak English and we can get lots of things across, and he can give me a lot of information. I’m glad to have that relationship”.

The defender also explained how he’s picking up Italian here and there, and how Fonseca getting used to the language himself has helped him understand more and more.

All in all, Chris Smalling is a happy man in Rome these days, and while he hasn’t shut the door to an Old Trafford return, few would be shocked if he decided to continue at Roma next season.