Chris Smalling continues to shine for Manchester United

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Manchester United 2-0 West Brom. You could have probably predicted that before the two sides took to the field at Old Trafford earlier today. 

Once again, the Red Devils flattered to deceive when on the attack, but they were as strong as ever at the back. In fact, today's clean sheet makes it five in a row for David de Gea and Co. 

Much has been made of their problems up top, but they are now quite the defensive unit. And one man who has been prominent throughout the run is towering centre-back Chris Smalling. 


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In fact, the former Fulham man has been brilliant for the Red Devils all season long. There's no doubt about it, Smalling is the club's most consistent player right now and has established himself as a leader for the Red Devils. 

Smalling is no longer a liability and he's no longer a bit-part player; he's now one of the best defenders in the Premier League. 

Top three 

Red Devils captain Wayne Rooney recently claimed his teammate is in the top three centre-backs in world football. Okay, so Rooney's assessment may well be slightly over the top, but Smalling is going from strength-to-strength at the Theatre of Dreams. 

Once again, throughout today's encounter, Smalling controlled the threat of West Brom's attack. Right from the off, within the opening 10 minutes, the robust centre-back outmuscled Salomon Rondon. It set a precedent. Rondon failed to stamp his mark on proceedings and West Brom ran out of ideas on the odd occasion that they attacked the United goal. 

But for Smalling, it was yet another display of dominance and class. Taking away a rather wayward pass in the 85th minute, the England man was outstanding throughout. 

Ferdinand comparison 

His starting position in something to be admired. In fact, much like United legend Rio Ferdinand, Smalling is showing signs of becoming the complete defender. He's not yet in the class of Ferdinand in terms of playing the ball out from the back, but he appears to be improving on every aspect of his game. 

Admirably, it doesn't matter if he stars alongside Daley Blind or Phil Jones, he always seems to put in an impeccable shift. He's by no means the finished product, of course, and still has some way to go before being recognised as a world-class defender, but the 25-year-old is becoming quite the asset for Louis van Gaal. 

Manchester United fans: has Smalling been your club's standout player this season? Have your say below! 

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