Published: 13:06 GMT March 21, 2021 | Updated: 13:06 GMT, March 21, 2021
Roma are concerned about Chris Smalling’s fitness with the English defender, who will miss his 20th game of the season against Napoli on Sunday.
The 31-year-old has in sustained knee and hamstring injuries this season, meaning he has only played 14 of Roma’s 27 league games since his £ 13m move from Manchester United last summer.
Smalling was almost back in first Team returned when he played on the Roma bench for the Europa League round of 16 against Shakhtar Donetsk on March 11 – but an infection from previous knee problems means he’s back on the sidelines.
The 31-year-old has few Sucked another injury weeks after returning from a hamstring problem
According to Football Italia, Smalling’s fitness problems are becoming a serious problem for the Serie A team in their top four chase, but Roma boss Paulo Fonseca hopes to have the Englishman back after the international break.
The Roma boss has to deal with further fitness setbacks for midfielders Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Jordan Veretout before the clash in Napoli this weekend.
Fonseca told reporters ahead of the clash on Sunday: “Smalling doesn’t need knee surgery, we have to deal with him day in and day out.
Smalling made his first move to Roma at the beginning of the 2019-20 season and impressed in his first season in Serie A with 37 appearances when the Giallorossi finished fifth in the league campaign.
The Italian team opted to make Smalling’s loan from Manchester United permanent at the start of the season and throughout the Roma this season urge to qualify for the Champions League, the defender was hardly used.
The regular absence of the 31-year-old was a heavy blow for the Roma in this season, as the Giallorossi have won 11 of the 14 games in which Smalling started.
Roma host Napoli at the Stadio Olimpico, with the two teams tied in the Serie A table.
Napoli is only due to the goal difference in fifth place in front of Fonesca’s team, while Gennaro Gattuso’s men also have a game in their hands in the top 4 hunt.
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