AS Roma boss Jose Mourinho has hit out at Gareth Southgate as he believes that Chris Smalling should be a part of the England squad and is shocked that the defender isn’t. The 32-year-old has earned 31 caps since his debut in 2011 but hasn’t played for the national team since 2017.
While he signed for Manchester United with a lot of pomp and celebrations, things never went according to plan for Chris Smalling as the defender struggled to consistently find game-time. That eventually saw Smalling leave for AS Roma, initially on loan before securing a permanent move in the winter of 2020 for a meagre fee of around €15 million. However, the move to Italy proved to be a masterstroke for the defender as he has thrived in the Serie A with Roma.
Yet despite that, Smalling hasn’t been capped by England since 2017 and it has many fans and critics alike wondering why that is so especially given the issues that the Three Lions have now. Amongst those many is Jose Mourinho and the Portuguese reiterated the fact that Smalling is someone that England could do with as he “would do anything” to have “someone like him at my disposal”. The Roma boss also added that he feels bad for Smalling as despite “playing at such a high level”, he “won’t get the opportunity he deserves”.
"If I were the coach of a national team, I would do anything to have someone like him at my disposal. I don't think it's a lack of respect to Gareth Southgate when I say that I feel sorry for a player who's playing at such a high level, like Smalling, who won't get the opportunity he deserves,” Mourinho said, reported Goal.