Smalling ready for United
Chris Smalling admits he expects to be star-struck when he pitches up at Old Trafford but is determined not to be nervous.
Last Updated: 03/03/10 1:13pm
Chris Smalling admits he expects to be star-struck when he pitches up at Old Trafford but is determined not to be nervous around his new Manchester United team-mates.
The Fulham defender's meteoric rise from Maidstone to one of the world's biggest clubs was sealed in January when Sir Alex Ferguson paid a significant sum to lure him from Craven Cottage, while allowing him to stay in the capital until the end of the season.
Smalling, who starts for England U21s on Wednesday night against Greece, is touted by many to be a full international in the future.
Rubbing shoulders with the likes of Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand is a world away from that which he occupied just 18 months ago, when he was earning £5 an hour as a waiter while studying for his A-Levels.
While his move to United has come sooner than anyone could have anticipated, Smalling concedes there was only ever going to be one answer once Ferguson came calling.
"It has been a whirlwind and things are happening very quickly," admitted Smalling. "It is very exciting.
"My move to United came out of the blue. I was just concentrating on doing well for Fulham and linking up with the Under 21s, then suddenly it came up and it is a fantastic opportunity for me.
"When you have one of the biggest clubs in the world even considering you will be good enough for them, it is a massive compliment.
"I think at times I'll be star-struck, but I'm not nervous. When I started to play for Fulham I got a few nerves, but I've played now and have started to get used to it."