However, he and the Portuguese coach had some backroom issues which did not make their working relationship as cordially as it was expected. Mourinho left him at the club in 2018.
A year later, Chris Smalling also left Manchester United to join Roma on loan in 2019. On October 5, 2020, the English defender joined Roma on a permanent deal worth €15 million.
His contract with Roma is expected to last until June 30, 2023. That could be extended if he continues to play to expectation especially under Mourinho.
The fact that Chris Smalling has reunited with Jose Mourinho was not what surprised the footballer but because of the prestige of the coach. The Portuguese coach has coached some of the biggest clubs across Europe including Real Madrid, Inter Milan, Manchester United, and Chelsea.
His last job was at Tottenham Hotspur, the only club Mourinho coached for more than a season without winning any trophy.
“It was quite a surprise to a lot of us, but there was initial excitement from everyone,” Chris Smalling told BBC.
“I knew the media would build up to something about our relationship in the past. But from a personal point of view, it is a good thing because I have played under him.
“We have won trophies together. He made me captain in one of those finals – the 2017 EFL Cup final – as well, so having the chance to play under someone who you know is good, has been so successful, and is so determined to win trophies at all costs is a positive.
“I know how big a deal it would be to bring a trophy of some sort to the club.
“Jose’s history shows the club has picked the perfect man to do that.”
Chris Smalling first duty under Jose Mourinho at Roma ended in a goal rush
Chris Smalling was on duty when Jose Mourinho had the chance for the first time to manage Roma in a friendly game with a lower league club in Italy.
Mourinho and his boys defeated Montecatini 10 – 0 to mark his return to Italian football which he dominated for two seasons when he was the coach of Inter Milan between 2008 and 2010.
Roma’s Borja Mayoral scored a hat-trick. While Carles Perez, Gianluca Mancini, Riccardo Calafiori, Nicolo Zaniolo, Nicola Zalewski, and Amadou Diawara scored a goal each. An own goal made it 10 for AS Roma.
After the friendly game, Chris Smalling took to Twitter and wrote: “On to the next!” Roma’s next friendly game is on Sunday. The match is against Serie B side Ternana.