Everton are interested in signing former Manchester United defender Chris Smalling this summer, according to Italian journalist Gianluca Di Marzio.
What's the latest transfer news involving Smalling?
The 31-year-old has spent the last two seasons at Serie A side Roma, but it is understood that he could be sold in the current transfer window as Jose Mourinho wants to bring in a centre-back with different qualities.
This development has opened the door for potential suitors, and Everton have reportedly made enquiries about bringing Smalling back to the Premier League.
What were Smalling's stats in 2020/21?
The towering defender, who stands at 6 foot 4, endured a difficult 2020/21 campaign, as his year was blighted by injury setbacks.
Smalling had five separate spells on the sidelines during the league season, meaning that he only managed to play 16 top-flight matches for Roma.
Overall, he clocked up just 1,110 minutes on the pitch in Serie A, almost 1,500 fewer minutes than he got under his belt in his first year in the Italian capital.
What did Fonseca say about Smalling?
Smalling played under Paulo Fonseca for two seasons at Roma, prior to the Portuguese coach departing the club last month. The 48-year-old is now heavily linked with becoming Tottenham's next manager.
When speaking back in April 2020 about Smalling, Fonseca lavished praise on the experienced international.
Fonseca told A Bola via The Daily Mail: "He's a defender that had never left England and he arrived in a league very demanding of tactics, where details make the difference.
"Chris adapted very quickly. He's an extraordinary guy, very intelligent. He has characteristics that I really appreciate in the centre.
"He's fast, nearly unbeatable in one-on-ones. He has a great ability to read the play and anticipate. He was very important for this club."
Would Smalling be a good signing for Everton?
It depends which version of the centre-back Everton would be getting.
Over the years, Smalling has had an impressive career, winning two league titles, the FA Cup and the Europa League during his Old Trafford days.
He then shone at Roma in 2019/20, racking up 30 Serie A appearances, and even chipping in with six goal contributions, which is why they were happy to buy him outright last summer from United.
However, this past season has not gone to plan for Smalling at all. He has suffered injury after injury, and not been able to build any momentum whatsoever over the last 12 months due to this.
If the Toffees are confident that Smalling's fitness issues are behind him then he could be a fine addition to the squad, given that he has played 219 times in the Premier League so is well aware of the demands of English football.
On the flip side, if there are doubts over whether Smalling's best days are behind him, and he cannot be trusted to remain fit, Everton should halt their interest right away and focus on another target instead.News Now - Sport News