Chris Smalling has been one of the revelations of the campaign

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has been one of the revelations of the campaign.

He has been at the level where the likes of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic continued to perform for several years. Smalling was signed from Fulham as a player with potential, but he disappointed with his inconsistency in the last couple of years. Now, the presence of experience appears to have given him a new dimension and edge to his game. The importance of the 25-year-old is demonstrated by the fact that manager Louis van Gaal has not even contemplated the prospect of dropping him even for the sake of rest.

Smalling has featured in all of the eight matches for United this season. He even showed his attacking instincts in the recent game against Southampton, which finished as it 3-2 win for the Red Devils. United still have to go a long way before being considered as potential title challengers. However, they have moved within two points of table leaders Manchester City after the shock defeat against West Ham. Smalling may finally get some well-deserved break as the team shifts focus towards the League Cup. Ipswich Town will be visiting Old Trafford for the third round of the League Cup. It is a trophy that United can dream of winning this season.

“I think he [Van Gaal] has [improved me], all the coaches I’ve worked with, especially Louis van Gaal, have helped me.We work hard and tirelessly on the training ground with our tactics, we do 11 versus 11’s a lot so we know our positions and our roles down to a tee.The repetition has really improved my game and a lot of the other players as well.The manager said at the start of the season that once you’ve used to the repetition of drills, the tactics and you know your role that we will get better,” said Smalling.