Roma legend Aldair has praised defender Chris Smalling after the Englishman’s positive start to the season.
In his two appearances for Roma so far, Smalling has been a man of the match candidate, impressing with his reading of the game and the timing of his tackles – plus his organisational ability.
The reception upon his signing was somewhat mixed, given that Roma had spent the summer chasing the likes of Toby Alderweireld, while the skepticism would have increased when it was announced that Smalling would be wearing the number six shirt.
That number had belonged to Aldair for the best part of a decade, and was retired following his departure from the club in 2003. Since then, only Kevin Strootman had worn it – but only with Aldair’s permission.
Hence, Smalling is only the third player this century to wear the iconic jersey for Roma, but Aldair insists that his first impressions of the on-loan Manchester United man have been positive.
“Someone like Smalling can be very useful,” he told Gazzetta Dello Sport. “The teams attack more and the defenders have to attack the man near the goal more, without turning around. It’s not easy to do.”