Manchester United’s struggle to establish a first-team with an apt lineup gets all the harder. The club has spent a lot this summer and is being urged to invest significantly more in the upcoming windows.
However, the amount spent is not reflecting in their outcomes, with multiple defeats and poor games dotting their campaign so far. In fact, many are of the opinion that this lack of quality is precisely because United didn’t spend enough in the summer window.
In addition to that, another facet of their transfer dealings is coming under fire.
Chris Smalling was deemed surplus to requirements and was loaned out to AS Roma.
A big reason for that was the arrival of the world’s most expensive defender, Harry Maguire, who cost a whopping £80 million.
However, a side by side comparison of their statistics doesn’t paint a very rosy picture.
Chris Smalling for Roma:
1.3 tackles per game
91% pass accuracy
Dribbled past 0 times (all comp.)
Harry Maguire for United:
0.5 tackles per game
88% pass accuracy
Dribbled past 5 times (all comp.)
— The Red Devils (@utdtrd) November 2, 2019
The raw stats alone paint Smalling to be the more capable centre-back of the duo, having secured 1.3 tackles per game compared to Maguire’s 0.5.
The more startling difference is that Maguire has been dribbled past 5 times in all competitions while Smalling is yet to be dribbled past, painting a superior performance in 1v1 situations.
Further, Maguire makes only 0.5 blocks per game in the league, whereas Smalling makes a more superior 1.3 blocks per game.
In addition to that, the Englishman is also an all-round addition to the Serie A giants, having netted a superb goal against Udinese in mid-week and on Saturday leading Roma to a significant 2-1 win over Napoli.
While there is no denying that the Premier League football is a starkly different one to the Serie A, the gap is quality does leave room for questions.