Manchester United are wrong to allow Chris Smalling to leave the club because it leaves them short in quality centre-backs, claims former Tottenham midfielder Jamie O’Hara.
Smalling is in Italy to complete a season-long loan move to Serie A side Roma.
The 29-year-old made 24 Premier League appearances for United last season but he has not featured in any of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squads for the first three games this term.
Following the £80million arrival of Harry Maguire in the summer, Smalling’s first-team opportunities were going to be limited.
However, O’Hara believes the England international was still worth keeping in the squad.
He does not think Phil Jones is up to the required standard for Manchester United anymore and Eric Bailly is out for the rest of 2019 with a knee injury.
O’Hara also believes the departure of Alexis Sanchez to Inter Milan on loan leaves United short up front.
“I think it leaves them a bit short, you know,” O’Hara said on talkSPORT.
“They’ve now only got three kind of strikers, and he’s playing a kind of three up front.
“And then getting rid of Smalling, it leaves them with Jones, [Victor] Lindelof, Maguire and Bailly, who’s injured.
“I don’t think Jones is anywhere near it in terms of being at Man United now.
“Lindelof I like but still needs to improve and Maguire is obviously fantastic.
“But I like Smalling, so I’m surprised to see him go to be honest.
“I think he’s probably one they should have kept.
“I think he’s got a good attitude, loves playing for Man United, doesn’t really make too many mistakes.
“So yeah it’s a strange one.”
United also have Marcos Rojo as an option to play at centre-back, as well as youngster Axel Tuanzebe, who has been on the bench for the first three games of the campaign.