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Full article: Manchester United Official Web Site - Chris Smalling signs new contract at Manchester United

Chris Smalling has been rewarded for his outstanding debut season at United with a new five-year contract.

The shrewd signing from Fulham settled quickly at Old Trafford and emerged as a reliable understudy to Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic at the heart of the defence.

After also showing his versatility by playing right-back against Blackpool on the final day, the England Under-21 international looks likely to enjoy more opportunities next term following the departure of fellow defenders John O'Shea and Wes Brown to Sunderland.

Sir Alex Ferguson has clearly been impressed with the confident Londoner and wasted little time in offering him fresh terms.

"I am delighted Chris has signed a new contract," enthused the boss to ManUtd.com. "Chris has been outstanding since joining us from Fulham last year, he is an extremely talented young defender, he’s quick, strong and reads the game well, he is a great asset to the team."

Smalling had no hesitation in extending his agreement with the Reds until the end of the 2015/2016 season and is delighted with how his Old Trafford career has taken off since moving north.

"This is a great club and, in the short time I have been here, I have already achieved more than I could have ever expected to," he told ManUtd.com. "I am looking forward to a long and successful career at Manchester United."
 
Hopefully he continues to improve this season as while he impressed a lot defensively, his tackle success rate and pass success rate was quite poor. Only thing he can be criticised for last season.
 
Smalling was nothing short of superb last year, i couldn't fault him.
 
Very encouraging, feel a lot better about letting O'Shea and Brown go now. I was alright with it anyway but i'm sure everyone feels more confident now. Rafael, Evans, Fabio, Jones all versatile too.
 
Great performance today. tbh, i didn't expect see him playing that good. Silva got no chances against him. Showed good oportunism when he scored the first goal, featured well offensively with some good crossings and did a good job in defence. Maybe another player like O'Shea was born. :)
 
Probably is up there for being Eng's best RB although to be fair I thought Micah Richards did well today and should be in line to start for Wednesday.
 
Smalling was excellent tonight (Palace) - a man of the match showing for my money.
 
Excellent performance. He's ahead of Jones for me and pushing Rio for a starting place.
 
Run out of superlatives. I'll just say Excellent. I'll admit for the first time that he's now really pushing Rio.
 
Big Chris just seems to get better every game, def MOM last night (although not many other contenders lol)
 
And another one bites the dust. Can our injury position get any worse.
 
If true that's bloody ridiculous (can't say I have a great deal of trust in the Daily Mail). I can't think of any club having this many injuries at one time. That we've been able to maintain a title challenge through out it makes our league position even more impressive.
 
Fergie can either deny or confirm the news in tomorrow's press conference. Is Chris Wheeler a reliable source?
 
Someone else heard on Boxing Day that he was out for 2 months with a throat infection.
 
I heard he had tonsillitis which I guess is similar? I have no idea how long that would rule him out for though. Real shame if he misses 3 months, he's been probably our best defender bar Vidic so far this season imo.

Really need to get at least one of the Da Silva twins back to match fitness if he is injured.
 
Probably the first rumour I've heard that ended up true. Thank god for that!
 
Fergie: Smalling still has a bout of tonsillitis but we expect him back in training on Monday.

Bad news.
 
Fantastic today. He should be first choice centre back for my money. Who should be his partner is the question? Don't know how fully fit Ferdinand is but he's been below par in the last two games.
 
Imperative we keep him at CB now we need to keep him fit, Rio is worrying me a little and Jones is too rash.
 
Yep, definitely. Evans should be okay for next week. Maybe an Evans Smalling pairing should be tried.
 
Aye was excellent again today. really showing his quality. Would like to see him get a good run with Evans as I think they compliment each other well.
 
Thought Rio was very good first half to be honest, Smalling was outstanding all game. Rio did some good things in the 2nd half and some odd things, looked off the pace.

Smalling was a big boost today, I don't think we could have done it without him. For me, we need to keep him at CB with either Rio or Evans. Rafael back in at RB with Jones in CM.
 
Terrific apart from the slip his aerial ability was needed towards the end
 
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