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Why This 31-year Old Is Still One Of The Most Important Players For Jose Mourinho And Manchester United

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Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United were left frustrated yet again this week as SlavenBilic’s West Ham managed to hold on to a point on their trip to the Old Trafford. Zlatan Ibrahimovic continued his impressive performance getting on the score sheet on the night but one player that can keep his head held high is the 31-year old right-back Antonio Valencia. The Ecuador international has established himself as the first-choice right-back under the new manager and is now one of the most important players in the squad. He picked up the man of the match award for his performance against the Hammers and was their best outlet in the final third in the closing stages of the game.

He is just back from a small injury and the fact that the fans and the manager are now hoping that he can stay fit through the busy fixture schedule shows that he has become one of the most important players in the squad. Known for his pace and energy that he sustains throughout the game, Valencia is a marauding right back that no opposition defenders would want to face. His inclusion in the game against Arsenal was a sure surprise for the spectators, but his never back down performance against the Gunners earned him a well-deserved Man of the Match title.

He loves to push forward at every opportunity and is also always aware of his defensive duties on the other side of the pitch. At his age, he has gathered all the experience in the world which makes him a senior player in the squad at Old Trafford. His age might not support him for a long time, but looking at his current form, it is fair to say that United will find it hard to fill his boots.


He has been at the club for more than 7 years now and knows his role in the squad. He has provided the only piece of stability that the United defence have found recently in the wake of injuries and loss of form. In the game against West Ham, Valencia managed to keep up the pressure even in the dying minutes and managed to provide an attacking outlet on the wing.

He showed that he can track back, even that late in the game with the last chance that the Hammers got. He managed to get back, cut the passing lines for the visitors, won the ball back and sprinted into the danger area where he was devoid of company. His energy levels at that stage of the game show that amount of commitment he has so it does not come as a surprise that he is one of the first players on the team sheet for Mourinho this season.

And very recently, the manager has confirmed that he wants to keep Antonio Valencia at Manchester United beyond his current contract – which ends at the end of the season, and that surely is a great step because as mentioned earlier, the manager will find it hard to fill the void if he leaves.

He is quick, smart, strong and is one of the most dangerous right-backs in the Premier League. He keeps it simple and provides the calmness that the Manchester Untied defence have lacked in recent times and is now an important part of the plans that Mourinho has for United this season. The fact that the Portuguese wanted Valencia when he was at Real shows that the 31-year old is a world class player and at his age, with all his experience, he can easily be an important tool for United’s surge to the top-4 at both ends of the field.

Do you think Antonio Valencia is an important player for Manchester United?