Chris Smalling's wife has reacted to the exclusion of the AS Roma defender in Garth Southgate's 26-man England squad for the World Cup.
Smalling, 32, has starred for Roma this season and the numbers suggest he's been the highest-performing English centre-back in Europe.
Opta Analyst state that the former Manchester United man has outperformed his fellow English centre-backs this season based on Opta Index scoring system.
But he missed out on a spot in Southgate's England squad as he named Man United's Harry Maguire, Tottenham's Eric Dier, Manchester City's John Stones, Arsenal's Ben White and Everton's Conor Coady.
Smalling's other half, Sam, took exception to her husband's England snub, posting a defiant message on social media.
She shared Opta's findings on Instagram, accompanied with the caption: "The highest performing English central defender in Europe this season."
She added: "Couldn't be more proud."
Smalling, who has 31 international caps to his name, hasn't played for his country since 2017.
He's not the only Serie A-based English defender to have missed out on a place in Southgate's World Cup squad.
AC Milan's Fikayo Tomori was also omitted from the squad despite the player winning the Scudetto last season.
The Three Lions boss was asked about his decision to leave Smalling and Tomori behind during the press conference where he unveiled his squad.
"We’ve picked our more experienced defenders," he said.
"The younger ones have good qualities, but we don’t think they’ve quite done enough to push the experienced ones out.
"Maguire? He is one of our best central defenders, even though we have many players who are playing at the level required to be part of the English national team."
Should Smalling or Tomori be in the England squad for the World Cup? Let us know what you think.
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