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Europa League Semis: Smalling Eager To Face Former Club Man United 

Europa League Semis: Smalling Eager To Face Former Club Man United 

Roma defender Chris Smalling says he can’t wait to face former club Manchester United in the Europa League semi-final.

United will host Smalling and Roma in the first leg at Old Trafford on Thursday evening.

It’s an extra special game for Smalling, who was on loan from United and made the move permanent in October for a reported €15m.

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“Coming up against my old team, old friends, would be fantastic meeting them. Even last year, obviously, I couldn’t play in the latter stages, but I was still hoping we’d play against them,” Smalling told Roma TV.

“It’s the semi-final, we’ve got a difficult team to overcome, but it’s great to be so close to a trophy that I know would really change the landscape here and boost us to kick on.”

Smalling wasn’t allowed to play in the Europa League Round of 16 last August because United refused to extend the loan period, even though he hadn’t been able to play when the season was paused due to the pandemic.

Negotiations between the clubs to agree a permanent transfer also dragged on until practically deadline day.

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