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Smalling insists Maguire arrival didn't force Man Utd exit

Chris Smalling insists the arrival of Harry Maguire didn't force him out of Manchester United.

The defender is now on-loan with Roma.

“Not really," he told the Telegraph when asked if Maguire had effected his future.

“I had spoken to the manager before Harry came and I knew I was behind him and Vic [Lindelof] but in previous seasons I had started behind [two first-choice centre-backs] and after four or five games I had worked myself into the team.

“I love a challenge and when a new centre-back comes in it makes you raise your game.

“You have to show more, you have to be more consistent."

He added: “If I had stayed I would have taken on that challenge and I would have been very confident that I would have played the number of games that I was worthy of.

“Equally I have a challenge here at Roma.

“Going back I will have an added element that some of the centre-backs won't have.

“The easy decision was to stay."

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Paul Vegas

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