Man Utd chief Ed Woodward slammed over ‘strange’ deadline day transfer decision

Manchester United were wrong to sell Chris Smalling on transfer deadline day, according to former Tottenham and England goalkeeper Paul Robinson. Smalling left United on a permanent deal worth £18million to rejoin Roma after spending last season on loan at the Serie A club. It brought to an end a 10-year career for the defender at Old Trafford, where he made over 300 appearances in all competitions.

But Robinson does not think United’s current defenders are any better than Smalling.

United suffered a heavy 6-1 defeat at the hands of Tottenham on Sunday to continue their poor start to the season.

United were unable to bring in a centre-back before Monday’s transfer deadline but still sanctioned Smalling’s exit.

Robinson cannot believe United’s decision, especially after how well the 30-year-old performed at Roma last term.

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“I just don’t understand it,” Robinson told Sky Sports News.

“You were saying Manchester United need a centre-half, you’re looking at a top central defender who’s had a good season last year on loan at Roma.

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“Roma wanted him back, is he not a centre-back that United would be looking at to buy at that kind of level? I really can’t understand why they’ve let him go.

“I think he’s had criticism levelled at him because maybe he’s not able to play as well as others are with his feet at the back.

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“But he’s a great defender and the art of defending at times we’ve seen this season is going out of the game.

“Chris Smalling is an outstanding defender and somebody like him alongside Harry Maguire is maybe what they’ve been looking for in the transfer market, yet they’ve seen it fit to let him go. It’s just a strange one for me.”

United signed four players on deadline day, bringing in left-back Alex Telles, striker Edinson Cavani and teenage duo Amad Diallo and Facundo Pellistri.

Speaking after putting pen to paper on an initial one-year deal, Cavani revealed his excitement at playing for the Red Devils.

“Manchester United is one of the greatest clubs in the world, so it is a real honour to be here. I’ve worked really hard during the time off and I feel eager to compete and represent this incredible club,” he told the club’s website.

“I have played in front of some of the most passionate supporters in football during my career and I know that it will be the same in Manchester.

“I cannot wait to experience the Old Trafford atmosphere, when it is safe for the fans to return.”

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