Manchester United defender Chris Smalling was shown on the front page of The Sun dressed in a 'Jagerbomb' costume—an outfit that resembled a suicide bomber. On Wednesday he issued an apology for his actions.
The statement comes from Smalling's management company, Wasserman Media Group, via the Associated Press' Rob Harris:
Chris and his girlfriend hosted a fancy dress party to celebrate Christmas and their belated birthdays with close friends in the assumed privacy of his own home. He dressed in a costume consisting of empty bottles of Jagermeister and cans of Red Bull strapped to his chest in an attempted comedy play on the popular ‘Jagerbomb drink’. Although he fully accepts in hindsight it was an ill-thought out and insensitive decision, absolutely no harm was intended whatsoever and he apologises for any offence caused.
The Red Devils have declined to comment, according to a separate report from Harris via The Republic.
Bleacher Report's UK Twitter feed provides a look at the newspaper's front page, which shows the picture of Smalling:
On the pitch, the Red Devils will hope this incident has little effect on Smalling, who has made 18 Premier League and Champions League appearances at both right-back and centre-back.
According to WhoScored.com, he has recorded 1.9 tackles, 1.0 interceptions and 5.9 clearances per match. He has been beaten by a dribble just two times all campaign.
With news that Nemanja Vidic is not expected to sign a new contract, via ESPN, Smalling will look to continue to prove that he should be a fixture in David Moyes' back four. Manchester United takes on Swansea City Saturday, Jan. 11, before a huge matchup with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Jan. 19, and it will be interesting to see how the aerial threat is used.
On the international scale, Smalling, who has eight caps with England, took part in friendlies against Germany and Chile in November.