One piece of business which has been taken care of at Manchester United while Louis van Gaal concentrates on the Netherlands, is the future of right sided winger Antonio Valencia.
Valencia has signed a new deal to stay at the club, ending speculation that he could be one of the midfield man axed by LvG ahead of a very important summer in the transfer market for the club.
Valencia is definitely one player who can be accused of inconsistency last season and an attacking star who needs to fine tune in the opponent’s final third to produce a more effective final ball for the club’s forwards.
There is obvious theory as to why LvG appears to have commissioned a new deal for the Ecuadorian star.
He’s one of the quickest players in the Premier League and any side is more effective when they have pace in their attack.
Liverpool, United’s arch rivals, showed last season how effective a team can be on the counter attack when they have pace down either side of the team, which can help take advantage of pockets of space.
Valencia also has experience playing at right-back and with doubts over that position, LvG may be thinking about making a more permanent position switch for the United star.
He’s certainly fit and quick enough to be able to run the right hand side regularly in any top game, but that change would warrant a lot of invested time on the part of United’s new boss to make sure the back four isn’t jeopardised defensively.
He’s also got great work rate and plays hard in every single game, which is important for the boss but also for the fans. Many will accept Valencia isn’t the perfect player to have down the right but he gives everything in terms of effort and that’s all supporters can ask for.
Here’s what United fans have made of the new deal on Twitter.
Valencia's signed a new contract. Praying they have a clause in his contract saying he can't drill crosses against the 1st man at 100mph— Alex Simmonds (@alex_simmo) June 21, 2014
Antonio Valencia just signed a new 3 year contract at Man United. We all stand a chance, guys. When are trials?— Siyabonga Nyezi (@siya_THATguy) June 21, 2014
Anyone told van Gaal it's Antonio Valencia he's just given a new contract? Must've thought it was Enner.— Ben (@BenElHipster) June 21, 2014
Lol love this new "if LVG wants him, it'll be fine" logic people are applying to everything. Valencia new contract = terrible news IMO— Ans (@manutdfan_usa) June 21, 2014
Surprised Valencia has been given such a lengthy new contract, 3-year deal with option to extend to 2018. Then again Nani got a 5-year deal.— Alice McKeegan (@amckeeganMEN) June 21, 2014
Valencia new contract? We're trying to progress, not regress. His form nor performances have warranted an extension.— R (@Trequartastic) June 21, 2014
valencia has signed a 3 year contract.. oh jesus christ— keeley (@KeeleyHooper) June 21, 2014
LRT: Valencia signed a new contract at MUFC. I'm chilled.. Guy works hard and can be effective sometimes. Ashley Young and Cleverly must go!— IG: DAYLEMASTERSON (@therealdale_) June 21, 2014
Noooooo Antonio Valencia just signed a three year contract. What are manutd thinkinggg?????!!!!— Ibn Maki Al Hanbali (@mohamedmaki94) June 21, 2014
Got excited with the breaking news tweet from @manutd and then it said they signed a new contract with Valencia. Talk of anti-climaxes.— Yusuf Hakim (@hakson52) June 21, 2014
Who in the right Mind thinks Valencia deserves a new 3 year contract? Need to be signing new players not giving dross new contracts— Jimmy Banks (@Jimmybanks89) June 21, 2014
Why did valencia get a new deal!? Apart from rvp, dea gea, januzuj and jones no other player deserves a new contract! #deadwood— Philip Harrison (@pharrison79) June 21, 2014
Antonio Valencia signs a new three year contract for Man U a real grafter and deserves it— Trickytrev53 (@trickytrev533) June 21, 2014
Did Valencia deserve a new deal at Manchester United?