Chris Smalling determined to be first choice

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.

Netherlands' defender Stefan de Vrij celebrates scoring their third goal during a Group B football match between Spain and the Netherlands at the Fonte Nova Arena in Salvador during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 13, 2014
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City23202167175062
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd23155348163250
3Liverpool23138254282647
4Chelsea23145441162547
5Tottenham HotspurSpurs23135546212544
6Arsenal23116641301139
7Burnley239771920-134
8Leicester CityLeicester238783432231
9Everton2376102538-1327
10Watford2375113342-926
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham2367102941-1225
12Crystal Palace2367102133-1225
13Bournemouth2366112435-1124
14Huddersfield TownHuddersfield2366111939-2024
15Newcastle UnitedNewcastle2365122131-1023
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2358101729-1223
17Southampton2349102334-1121
18Stoke CityStoke2355132350-2720
19West Bromwich AlbionWest Brom23310101830-1219
20Swansea CitySwansea2345141435-2117
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