By Kevin Phillips

18th Jun, 2021 | 9:24am

Everton backed to sign Smalling after 'excellent' Sky update - pundit

Chris Smalling would be an “excellent” signing for a Premier League side like Everton.

That is according to ex-Premier League goalscorer Kevin Phillips, speaking exclusively to Football Insider after Sky Italia reported on 16th June that Everton have enquired about the AS Roma centre-back.

The 31-cap England international is under contract in the Italian capital until 2023 having signed from Man United permanently in an £18million deal last summer.

But injury problems meant the defender featured just 16 times in the league last season and Sky Italia claim that he could be sacrificed under incoming manager Jose Mourinho.

Smalling will return from Italy a more well-rounded footballer and his Premier League experience would make him a useful Everton signing, claims Phillips.

“He’s shown he’s more than capable as a Premier League centre-back,” he told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs.

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“He was under a little bit of criticism for the way he was performing when he left for Italy.

“But fair play to him, he’s gone out to Italy, played lots of football and rediscovered his form. He’s an excellent footballer.

“He might have been able to go and enjoy it because the pressure may not be as big over there.

“If he is to come back then he’ll be a more experienced, well-developed footballer. He can turn out to be a good asset for someone in the Premier League.”

Football Insider revealed on 17th June that ex-Liverpool boss Rafael Benitez is set to be announced as the new Everton manager.

And, as revealed by this site later the same day, Benitez has given Everton the green light to sign Wolves centre-back Conor Coady.

In other news, Everton backed to sign full-back sensation who is turning heads at the Euros.