Chris Smalling has warned Manchester United that Roma are well aware of what a trophy will mean to both clubs ahead of Thursday’s Europa League semi-final first leg.
United are bidding to reach their first European final since winning the Europa League in 2017 and are also keen to overturn the poor record they have developed in semi-finals under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Yet Roma are looking to win their first trophy since 2008, meaning it is a significant game for both clubs.
The game has an added significance for Smalling, who turned his loan from United to Roma into a permanent deal in the summer, and he says he is well-aware of the importance.
“Obviously being in Rome for nearly the last two years, I think, I know the importance of bringing home a trophy because it’s been far too long.
“There’s so many ingredients for this so I don’t think there will be a bigger game to be a part of.
“I’m just thankful I’m now fit and I’m able to contribute because the whole squad needs every player.”
Now watching United from afar, Smalling said he was impressed with the progress the club have made under Solskjaer, with who he says he had a good relationship
He said: “This season they’re obviously having a very good season
“When he first came in I was injured, but then as soon as I got fit he played me and we had a good relationship.
“Then obviously we had very honest conversations in the summer but, yeah, now we’ll meet on the pitch and I’m really looking forward to it.”