Atalanta’s Rasmus Hojlund names Chris Smalling as toughest Serie A defender

Andy Mattioli

Chris Smalling continues to prove himself as one of the defensive leaders in Serie A.

Since his arrival in Italy in 2019, the English centreback has dominated the league, eventually leading Europe’s top five division in duels won in 22/23.

Recently, Atalanta striker Rasmus Hojlund – one of Serie A’s rising stars – named Smalling as the toughest defender he’s faced in the Italian league so far.

In an interview with Tuttosport, Hojlund admitted, “Chris Smalling from Roma gave me the biggest problems.”

“He’s an intelligent, agile, fast, physically strong defender. I tried to win duels with him by using my physical strength, but it wasn’t the winning move. I still have to find the right key to overcome it.”

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