Chris Smalling will not even be there tomorrow night against Ajax, but his return is not taken for granted even in any Europa League semi-finals. Even yesterday the English defender carried out separate work and no time frame can be foreseen for his return: llast appearance dates back to the match against Genoa on 7 March, that is almost 40 days ago. And it’s not like things got much better before. At the moment there is no return to the group. The left thigh muscle injury is the consequence of a knee problem who in recent days took him to Spain for a consultation from Professor Cugat, growth factor treatment specialist. The problem has not yet been solved and the fear is that his stop may last until the end of the season or that it may be in fits and starts as it has been until now. HIT ON THE GONG – A bad blow for Paulo Fonseca who had spent so much for him in the summer-autumn window. Smalling, in fact, arrived in the last hour of the last day of the transfer marketor after a very long and exhausting back and forth between Roma e Manchester United. The English club, after having loaned it to the Giallorossi last season, was not inclined to any form of discount compared to the 20 million requested. Then, even with the pressure of the defender, it was achieved the agreement for 15 million.His arrival in Ciampino was celebrated by the fans and Fonseca ran to embrace him in Trigoria. On the other hand, with 30 appearances as a starter and a devastating impact for a British defender in Serie A in the previous season there was reason to lick your mustache.
CRISIS NUMBERS – Smalling has often raised the white flag as much over the course of the season to play 961 ‘in the league spread over just 10 appearances from the first minute to which are added the 130 ‘in the group stage of the Europa League. Eighteen total absences so far, worse he had done only to Manchester in 2016-2017 when they were 21. But at the end of the season. A presence in fits and starts that the defense of Rome has accused not a little. The numbers say it, However. In the 10 Serie A games in which the vegan giant played as a starter, there were 7 wins, 1 draw and 2 defeats. But when he was missing due to injuries, the figure collapsed: 5 defeats, 4 draws and 4 wins.