Chris Smalling determined to be first choice

Manchester United's Chris Smalling in action against AIK during a friendly match on August 6, 2013
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is adamant that he wants to prove to new boss Louis van Gaal that he can be the first choice centre-back at the Red Devils.

Manchester United defender Chris Smalling has said that he is determined to become the first choice centre-back at both club and country.

The 24-year-old served behind Nemanja Vidic and Rio Ferdinand last season and played a limited role in the middle of his side's defence.

However, now that the duo have left United, Smalling is hopeful that he can prove to new manager Louis van Gaal that he can thrive in the role as well as earning starting berth for England.

"It is my goal to be first choice for United and England. I'll be looking to get a little break though now, to go back to United and then cement my place," he is quoted as saying by The Mirror.

"With a new manager it is an opportunity for a lot of players and I see this as very much my chance, having a good pre-season and really making that position my own."

Smalling made 37 appearances for the Red Devils in all competitions last season.

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