By Football Insider speaking to Kevin Campbell

19th Feb, 2020 | 5:28pm

Exclusive: Bruce reacts to reported Everton hunt for 'No-nonsense' star from PL rivals

Alex Bruce insists he is not surprised by reports Everton and Tottenham are chasing Chris Smalling after his performances on loan at Roma.

The former Hull City defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, recalled his experiences of playing against the “no-nonsense” 30-year-old.

According to reports in Italy from Corriere dello Sport, Carlo Ancelotti is keen to add the Premier League winner to his squad for the 2020/21 season.

Smalling has been on loan at Serie A giants AS Roma from Manchester United this season and has scored twice in 19 appearances.

When asked for his thoughts on the reports the England international was a wanted man, Bruce told Football Insider: “It does not surprise me at all. You know exactly what you will get out of Chris.

“Speaking from experience from playing against him myself I have always found him a no-nonsense steady eddy – you know what you are going to get. He is good in the air and he is a good one on one defender.

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“The fact that he is getting linked, especially after doing very well at Roma – does not surprise me. He would be a good acquisition for anybody.” 

For Manchester United, Smalling made 323 appearances in a period spanning 9 years but he fell out of favour with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and subsequently moved abroad in search of first-team football.

The defender has had a glittering career with two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, one League Cup and a Europa League to his name.

In other Everton news, Danny Mills has told Football Insider everyone at Goodison Park will be delighted after latest update.