Away from the spotlight shining on Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba, Antonio Valencia has quietly impressed Manchester United fans and Ander Herrera has described the Ecuadorian as the best right-back in the world alongside Juventus star Dani Alves.
Valencia is now in his eighth season at Old Trafford and the 31-year-old appears to be flourishing under the management of new boss Jose Mourinho, after starring in the pre-season campaign and notably registering three assists in the 5-2 win over Galatasaray in Gothenburg.
The powerhouse defender went on to supply the cross from which Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored his winning goal in the Community Shield and played an influential role in Wayne Rooney’s strike at Bournemouth last weekend, before shining once again during Friday’s 2-0 win over Southampton.
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Such good form has not escaped the attention of Herrera: “I know him and have always liked the way he plays,” the Spaniard told MUTV. “I know he’s not a normal right-back because he used to play as a winger, but I think that, right now, he is the best right-back in the world, maybe with Dani Alves, because I like Dani Alves a lot. I think Antonio is one of the best right-backs in the world.
“When you have a right-back who is quick to defend and he is crossing maybe six or seven times a game, always or almost always successfully, then he understands the football. When I have the ball, I know that Antonio’s always ready to receive it, always to give you one solution.
“I think he’s going to be very important this season. He has already been very important for the club, he has already been here eight years, but I think I told you at the end of the last season something good is being cooked and everyone wants to be part of that.”
Culled from Manutd Website