Sir Alex Ferguson is always leaving big players out of his Manchester United side. He always has done and he always will but the one thing you don’t do if you’re the player in question is go to the media and start moaning about it.
That is just what Antonio Valencia appears to have done with comments to Ecuadorian radio station Soronama following his exclusion from the United team for the Manchester derby earlier in the week.
He has been consistent this season but that consistency has come in the negativity of his performances, as he’s not been able to replicate the sort of form that saw him described as the best winger in England a couple of years ago.
Fergie may have already started to think about moving him on this summer and his comments may simply force his hand and effectively make up his mind, as United have really struggled with their wide players this year.
“They are the manager’s decisions [to make], but I was still a bit upset – you become restless waiting for the next game and wanting to play – In such an important game, to be not taken into account as a starter is upsetting,” he said.
So what next? Well, United have two up-and-coming wide players coming back to Old Trafford from loan spells this summer in Bebe, who has been starring for Rio Ave in Portugal, and Wilfried Zaha; who was loaned back to Crystal Palace after United signed him.
Both young men will be looking to get into the United first team, which means if Valencia cannot nail down a starting role for United over the remaining games of the season then it could be curtains for his United career.
Ferguson has never taken kindly to being criticised or to having his motives questioned by his players. In every single case where his authority has been undermined or where he’s seen something he hasn’t liked, he has moved that player on.
It’s a shame because when Valencia is on form, he is still one of the most dangerous wide players the club has but even his ability to play at right back isn’t going to help him, now that Ferguson has three players (Rafael, Phil Jones, Chris Smalling) who can all play that role in the defence.
All of the latest reports have suggested that United could spend big this summer to keep themselves ahead of Manchester City and Chelsea in the fight to become England’s dominant team.
These comments, mixed with his inconsist form points toward the Ecuadorian potentially being sold.
United would cope in a financial sense in terms of buying players and not having to sell Valencia but if they really want to go after someone like Radamel Falcao, then an extra £15-20 million through the sale of Valencia isn’t going to hurt one little bit.
Do you expect him to go this summer?
image: © Magnus D