Manchester United legend Giggs praises 'fantastic' winger

Valencia Defends V Sunderland

Antonio Valencia has signed a new contract at Manchester United, and Ryan Giggs has spoken glowingly about the Ecuador international.

Antonio Valencia has agreed a new deal at Manchester United, extending his contract until 2018.

He is currently on international duty with Ecuador at the World Cup, where his side has won one and lost the other group game, facing an already qualified France side in the final game.

Recently retired Ryan Giggs, now assistant manager, told of his delight at the winger's renewal:

"His contribution to the team since he joined the club in 2009 has been fantastic.

"Antonio is a very powerful player with great speed and versatility. He is very professional in his approach to training and I am delighted he has committed his future to the club."

Valencia has proved his versatility in recent seasons, and with Louis van Gaal adopting a 5-3-2 approach with Netherlands at the World Cup, he could be the ideal candidate to feature on the right, strong in attacking areas, but also possessing a great work ethic to defend with full focus.

How 'fantastic' has Valencia been at the World Cup though? The answer, from an attacking perspective, is far from it:

  MatchMatchdayAssistsKey PassesTotal Scoring AttemptsWon DribblesMins
Antonio Valencia vs Switzerland 01 0 1 1 1 90
Antonio Valencia vs Honduras 02 0 0 0 0 90

If Valencia is to back up Giggs' comments and United's faith in him, when he returns to Old Trafford he will have to lift his game next season.

Last season was a mixed bag for him, and he can count himself fortunate there are two wingers in the squad who performed awfully in Nani and Ashley Young, who draw the attention away from his lack of spark.

That considered, Valencia signing a new deal is a wise move, but if he wants to be a starter week in and week out, one key pass over two games against the likes of Switerland and Honduras is not going to be good enough to earn him the same type of praise.

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