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United youngster “will be a fantastic player”


By Ryan Kane.

John O’Shea believes new Manchester United signing Chris Smalling will be a “fantastic player”. The Irishman spoke highly of Smalling prior to United’s pre-season tour opener against Celtic in Toronto on Friday. United began their excursion of North America in style with goals from Berbatov, Welbeck and Cleverly sealing an impressive 3-1 win.

Smalling conceded a blatant second half penalty after dragging Celtic’s Joe Ledley to the ground inside the area. Greek striker Georgios Samaras made no mistake in levelling the score at 1-1 from the spot. Albeit aside from the penalty incident the 20-year old defender had an impressive debut for United. He looked comfortable on the ball, with his blistering pace standing out as a main attribute.

Speaking to Sky Sports after the game United manager Sir Alex Ferguson said

“I was pleased with Chris. We know he is a good footballer, we know he is quick and is a good passer of the ball”.

The ex-Fulham player has represented England at U21 level on four occasions to date. The giant defender who measures in at over six foot plied his trade for conference side Maidstone United just two years ago before making the dream move to the Premier League. Praise for Smalling continued post-match with central defensive partner Jonny Evans stating that

“He (Smalling) is a great lad, he has trained hard and hopefully he can do well for us”.

United will now make the trip across the border into America as they prepare to face Philadelphia on Thursday. The Red Devils will then go on to play Kansas City Wizards and MLS All Stars before continuing their tour south into Mexico.

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