According to a recent report by the Sun, Manchester United could lose their captain Antonio Valencia on a free transfer at the end of this campaign. It has been reported that the United right-back might depart the club when his contract at Old Trafford comes to an end next summer. The Red Devils have an option to extend his contract for a further year, but they would have to activate the clause by March 1 or else risk losing out on his services for no value.
Valencia’s Worth Has Diminished This Season
The Ecuadorian defender has been a sporadic feature in Jose Mourinho’s first-team this season. He has looked vulnerable defensively while he has also lost his cutting edge going forward. At 33, Valencia is about to embark upon the twilight years of his career, and it would now be up to the United hierarchy to decide whether they want to sign the veteran right-back for another year or move him on and give some of their younger players a chance in Mourinho’s senior team.
The likes of Matteo Darmian and Diogo Dalot could be a like for like replacement for Valencia while Ashley Young has also been used as a makeshift right-back this season.
The Ecuadorian’s Career At Old Trafford In A Nutshell
The Nueva-Loja born defender has been a loyal servant for Man United since his move from Wigan Athletic in the summer of 2009. During his nine years at Old Trafford, Valencia has made 335 appearances, scoring 25 goals while creating 62 assists across all competitions. He has also won the Premier League twice with the Red Devils under Sir Alex Ferguson’s tutelage.
What Should Be Mourinho’s Play?
It is no secret that the 33-year-old is way past his prime and that is why Mourinho has demoted him from being a regular starter into a squad player. Maybe it is finally time for him to bid farewell to the Mancunian giants at the end of this season so that both the club and the player can move on.
The United boss should not opt to extend his contract as both Diogo Dalot, and Matteo Darmian are more than capable of filling Valencia’s shoes next season.