Antonio Valencia: Manchester United’s safe bet

There have been a lot of players that have massively improved under Jose Mourinho and one of the names that come to our minds is certainly Antonio Valencia. Constantly trying to find the most suitable player in the right after the departure of Rafael da Silva, one of the forgotten man, was indeed Antonio Valencia.

Some were talking about a possible departure or even that he would be the second choice to a new arrival and a lot of things have also been said to him, with Jose’s arrival. Naturally a midfielder, Antonio Valencia is indeed a warrior. He is a good player on the right-wing but he has transformed into an amazing right back that now everyone wants in their team.

Week in, week out the Ecuadorian is showing his qualities, and the fact that he is a midfielder has helped him on cutting wide, while we have also seen a massive improvement at the back. A big fan of Valencia, I must admit that at first, I thought that Darmian would be the priority, but as I have stated many times, one of Jose Mourinho’s requirements in a player, is attitude, something that he didn’t find at Matteo. The Italian never lived up expectations and is one of the first names to be on his way out of the club in the summer. Remember last summer? Everything was a competition and of course, a stable choice was necessary for the right. The situation was obvious, Darmian and Valencia, rather than Fosu-Mensah would compete for the place.

A late arrival of the Italian ruined his hopes of playing regularly and a familiar name was making things right this time. Antonio Valencia, whose crosses were often poor, became the priority in Jose’s list. More than that, the right back position was now a case closed at United. We all know that he hasn’t always been like this and at first, many doubted his abilities as for why would he start performing now or was it better if we go and look for another choice. It must have been not that easy for Valencia to hear the rumours on Fabinho getting closer to United, but in the end, he refused Manchester United for a better contract. As Jose has mentioned he doesn’t beg players to stay or sign for him and sure it was one of those cases.

Getting back to Valencia, many may have laughed at Ander Herrera’s praise for him considering Valencia the best right back around. It did seem like a bad joke, but since then no one has ever doubted him, considering him one of the players that would always perform and push forward seeking for more. To prove that we don’t have to go back in time as it did happen on Saturday. Bournemouth ruined our top four chances and much more of them performing well was the cynical behaviour of our players that weren’t producing. The only thinking with a cold head was Valencia who assisted in the first goal, while you would always find him tearing the defence apart in the second half. Some things never change and it has been this way with Valencia; the Ecuadorian never stops fighting.

Yet, it feels that the fans aren’t satisfied, but have they ever been? The media are always coming up with names that the fans actually like. So, there is Seamus Coleman, the Irishman that Roy Keane wants at United. Then there’s Nelson Semedo, who I am still not sure that would fit the team and of course the £50 million boy Elseid Hysaj.

While I agree that Coleman may be a good choice, the others don’t seem like a great choice for United. How exactly will the club convince Everton so we could sign Coleman? A swap deal including Rooney? This isn’t a rumour so you probably heard it here first but there’s a chance this card will be used to get in there. Anyway, do we really need to spend money in a right back?

All the qualities we are looking are there, into Valencia who is one of those that has never claimed the spotlight but has always worked wisely. I honestly believe in what statistics say but they don’t tell the whole story otherwise Louis van Gaal’s experiment on him would have definitely finished in disaster. That’s why players need the fans’ trust in all of this. From Sir Alex Ferguson’s Era, he is one of the few consistent players that have survived the terrible transition. That cannot be coincidence and that’s why patience is required, ironically.

It may seem unexpected to make such requirements as nobody expected his improvement in this position and you have to understand that he is not one of the big names everyone is used to, but what has he actually lacked? Nothing, and that’s why he is our safe bet. If his performances haven’t satisfied you, then I believe that you were one of those who also attacked Zlatan Ibrahimovic and the team for not doing things right, because all it matters is the winning, right?


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