Advertisement Comment United signed Smalling in January 2010 and he remained there on loan until the summer (Getty)Smalling, who supported the Gunners as a child, told The Athletic: ‘In my head, I was going to Arsenal. Then Manchester United got in touch.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘I was leaving the team bus at Blackburn away and [Fulham boss] Roy Hodgson said: “We’ve accepted a bid from Man United”. That threw me.‘I felt there were more opportunities to play at Arsenal, but I spoke to Fergie and he said: “I wouldn’t sign you if I didn’t think you could play games.”More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘Maybe his aura felt right, but I made the right decision because I was soon playing alongside great players and winning the league.’United have struggled in the years since Ferguson left and Smalling is now plying his trade in Italy, though he believes the club are right to pursue a long-term approach. Smalling has impressed in Italy and could move to Roma permanently (Picture: Getty)He continued: ‘We’ve had good spells, we’ve won all the cups since Fergie left. We finished second under Jose. We haven’t been far away at times and we’ve produced in big games, we’ve gathered momentum but then it has fallen away.‘We’ve not had consistency or stability to win titles and it’s difficult to get it when there are so many managerial changes, but it’s such a demanding place that you need to deliver all the time. I like the idea of a longer-term plan like now, but you also have to see progress.’More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors Metro Sport ReporterFriday 1 Nov 2019 3:43 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link819Shares Chris Smalling reveals how Sir Alex Ferguson convinced him to choose Man Utd over Arsenal Advertisement The centre-back thought he would be joining the Gunners until Sir Alex made his pitch (Picture: Getty)Chris Smalling says he was on the verge of joining Arsenal until Sir Alex Ferguson swooped in almost a decade ago and convinced him to join Manchester United instead.The centre-back – who is currently on loan with Serie A side Roma – had impressed in a handful of Premier League appearances for Fulham to attract attention from some of the division’s biggest clubs.Arsenal were in talks with Fulham and Smalling was attracted to Arsene Wenger’s reputation for developing young players, but Sir Alex made a pitch of his own that was too good to turn down.