Valdes, who looks poised to leave the Camp Nou after 18 years of service to the club, landed awkwardly and subsequently tore his ACL, which will almost certainly mean he has played his last game for the club he joined back in 1995, as the injury has a predicted recovery time of around six months.
Whilst the news of his impending operation and subsequent recovery no doubt a blow to the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City, who have been linked with a summer swoop for the out of contract goalkeeper, it could be a boost to one Manchester United player.
Valdes' injury will most likely keep him out of the World Cup in Brazil this summer, which will force Spain boss Vicente del Bosque to call up a replacement. Real Madrid's Iker Casillas and Pepe Reina of Napoli are seemingly assured of their spots in the 23-man squad, leaving one place open on the plane to South America.
Real Madrid's Diego Lopez could make a case for a call-up, but Manchester United's de Gea could finally be handed the opportunity to kickstart his international career in Valdes' absence.
The 23-year-old has been one of the few consistent performers for David Moyes' Red Devils in a disappointing season, but has still yet to earn a cap for La Roja. He was called up to face France in a friendly a year ago, but didn't take to the field, meaning he could finally make his bow in the near future.
With Casillas on the fringes of the Real Madrid first team and Reina somewhat unreliable, de Gea could head into the tournament as the most in-form goalkeeper available to del Bosque, and as the undoubted future of Spanish goalkeeping, should he be handed his chance to shine this summer?