Manchester United striker James Wilson has revealed that the fastest player at the club could well be Chris Smalling, despite the fact the likes of Antonio Valencia and Angel Di Maria also call Old Trafford home.
In an interview with his club’s official website Wilson went on record to claim that though there were several players fans would usually associate with such a title, the stats may favour Smalling as he’s deceptively quick.
Since the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson the England defender has received plenty of criticism for his performances in the back-line, and it may come as a surprise to many fans to see him touted as the club’s quickest individual.
"We wear GPS tracking devices in training and they tell you how far you have run and how fast," Wilson said.
"Obviously there are players like Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, myself and a few others, but going on stats it is probably Chris Smalling. That is maybe not who you would think! But Chris has got a pretty good speed."
"Obviously there are players like Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, myself and a few others, but going on stats it is probably Chris Smalling. That is maybe not who you would think! But Chris has got a pretty good speed"
Smalling at United
With the departures of Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic from the Old Trafford fold Smalling has seen himself rise to become one of the most senior defenders in Louis van Gaal’s squad.
The 25-year-old makes up a trio with Jonny Evans and Phil Jones, though his future will remain uncertain until such a time that United have a defence to match their attacking department.
If when that happens - and if the Red Devils can land Mats Hummels this summer as it’s rumoured they might they will be one step closer - Smalling is still a first-team regular, then his place in Van Gaal’s plans will be assured.
As for Wilson, his reputation in Manchester is slightly more positive, with the youngster having successfully broken into Van Gaal’s setup even though Radamel Falcao’s arrival had made the scenario unlikely.
Danny Welbeck and Javier Hernandez were both let go last summer - the latter albeit on loan - and with Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie both competing for places as well, the striker’s berth is arguably the most hotly-contested area on the pitch for United.
Yet Wilson has managed to push himself into the frame, and 15 appearances in all competitions is more than Adnan Januzaj, Ander Herrera and Phil Jones have accumulated respectively.