Michael Owen has responded to praise of Chris Smalling by claiming that even he could play centre-half in Louis van Gaal’s Manchester United team.
Smalling has been in superb form this season at the heart of United’s defence, which has conceded only 10 Premier League goals all season.
But Owen believes the England centre-half is simply benefiting from playing in a side set up by Van Gaal to defend.
The BT Sport pundit said: “To be so good going forward you have to commit players.
“With Manchester United this year and Chelsea last year, everyone was raving about John Terry’s performances last year and now everyone raves about Chris Smalling.
“I could play centre-half when I’ve got Schweinsteiger, Schneiderlin, two full-backs that don’t move and wide players that really do a good shift.
“To be a good attacking team you almost all have to have some influence on going forward. Maybe not the two centre-halves, but it’s a team game. It’s not like ‘you six stay here and defend, and you four go and attack’.
“It’s a team game. You’re either a good attacking team or good defensively.”