Smalling has quickly become a fan favorite in Roma and has attracted interest from Arsenal and Tottenham but Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said since December that he would like to see the former England international back at Old Trafford as soon as his loan spell expires in the Summer.
If Roma would like to sign Smalling it is expected to cost the Italian side around £25million for his rights. Something that Fonseca would love to see happen.
“He surprised me. He’s a defender that had never left England and he arrived in a league very demanding of tactics, where details make the difference,” Fonseca told Portuguese publication A Bola.
“Chris adapted very quickly. He’s an extraordinary guy, very intelligent. He has characteristics that I really appreciate in the centre.
“He’s fast, nearly unbeatable in one-on-ones. He has a great ability to read the play and anticipate. He was very important for this club.”
“If possible, I would like him to stay. He’s a great professional and person, it’s a pleasure to have him here with us.”
Smalling joined Roma for a season-long loan last summer after seeing his playing opportunities in the United backline dwindle. The move to Roma re-ignited his career domestically and possibly earning him another go around in Gareth Southgate’s England national side.
Playing in 21 of Roma’s 26 Serie A matches, and five of their Europa League matches, the 30-year-old has previously said he would like to make the move to Roma permanent.
Granted, this was before the coronavirus outbreak halted all football worldwide and put into question when and if there will be a summer transfer period.