Smalling backs Januzaj and Lingard to shine at Manchester United

The centre-back has been impressed by the young duo during the Premier League champions' pre-season tour of Asia, and believes they can force their way into the first team
Manchester United defender Chris Smalling believes Adnan Januzaj and Jesse Lingard can force their way into the Premier League champions' first team this season.

The Belgian and English youngsters have shone in the Red Devils' pre-season fixtures with the pair both scoring in David Moyes' side's 5-2 win over Kitchee SC on Monday.

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Now Smalling, who has established himself in the setup at Old Trafford since moving from Fulham for £7 million in 2010, has backed the duo to push for a place in Moyes' team ahead of the new campaign.

"They have taken their chance,” he told the club's official website.

"It’s good that the manager has given these young players a chance and they have really taken their chances.

"I think all of them have made a claim for the start of the season and they are all in with a good shout."

Januzaj, who has impressed on United's pre-season tour of Asia and capped his fine displays with a goal in Hong Kong, is pleased with his performances but is aiming to continue to improve.

"I have done some good stuff [during the tour] and I hope to keep going," the Belgian added.

"That is what I am going to do. I am going to work hard and try to keep doing what I am doing."

United have one more friendly on their tour before heading back to England, which will see them face AIK in Stockholm on August 6.