6 tackles, 92% pass accuracy, Manchester United midfielder unsung star against Sunderland?

Antonio Valencia

Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia put in a case for himself during United's draw, showcasing the grittier aspects of his game.

Antonio Valencia BtnManchester United may want to see relentless attack from their wingers, but in Louis van Gaal's 3-5-2 system, tracking back is essential.

Antonio Valencia displayed in the weekend's draw against Sunderland why his defensive qualities makes him an ideal fit for the Dutchman's system.

The Ecuadorian made an impressive three interceptions and won six tackles against the Black Cats.

On the opposite flank Ashley Young actually made four interceptions, but won only one tackle throughout the game.

It's a sign, in Valencia's case particularly that he is capable of providing the hard graft required to play in the wing-back role, one described as difficult to play by former United captain and full-back Gary Neville.

The concern, however, is the lack of attacking impact Valencia is able to make due to the extra demands placed on him.

While he completed an impressive 92 per cent of his passes, bettered by no midfielder on show, he was only able to create one goalscoring opportunity.

United are undergoing a period of transition whether fans want to hear it or not, but there are signs in Valenca's case that he is making progress.

Now he needs to find a way to improve the creative part of his game and be more direct, for he did not have a single attempt on goal in the match, and that is an area Van Gaal will surely be pressing home on him.

Do you think Valencia should be a first choice starter for United?

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