Over the past year, Chris Smalling has proven himself as one of the best defenders in the Premier League, which is something Louis van Gaal has been credited with doing.

Smalling has repeatedly claimed that the manager has helped him improve, but Van Gaal, modestly, insists Smalling deserves all the credit.

I think the player, when he does things, he does it all by himself. I help him with advice and also with demands, also with training sessions, also with showing images to improve him, but he has to be open and he has to perform on the pitch. He does everything for himself. The greatest compliment you have to make is to Chris and not to me.




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