The Manchester United career of Antonio Valencia has been an interesting one. He was brought in as a replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo – no pressure there then – and spent his first couple of seasons impressing down the wing.
A bad injury kept him out of the game for 6 months and, since he has returned, he seems to have lost the ability to beat a man. But, overall, you would have to say that he has been a success at Manchester United. A hard working and unselfish athlete, he has adapted his role in the team and played 35 games for Manchester United last season, mainly as a right back.
While he will ultimately be seen as a footballer from the last generation of Manchester United stars, he still surely has a role to play moving forward. At 29, he is one of the more adaptable members of the squad and a player who rarely let’s you down.
Which is why we find it quite surprising that he is being linked with a move away from Manchester United this week.
Various reports suggest that Manchester United will sell Valencia, who has played 75 times for Ecuador, to free up space for arrivals such as Nathaniel Clyne and Dani Alves.
We can’t see Valencia leaving. Just like Ashley Young on the left, Louis van Gaal will feel that he has two trusted, if unspectacular players, who can do a job anywhere on the flank. They may not always be fist choice, but they are vital ingredients for any big successful squad.
So, while we don’t think that Valencia will make the team as much next season s he did this, we would be surprised if Manchester United sold him this summer.
Let’s see the lad in action. Manchester United fans: worth keeping?