Following David de Gea’s injury while on international duty reports began to circulate claiming Manchester United could play Victor Valdes in Saturday’s huge match against Arsenal.
The former Barcelona goalkeeper is currently training with Louis van Gaal’s side and the suggestion is he will be offered a contract once he is back to full fitness.
De Gea’s fractured finger seemingly fast-tracked those alleged intentions – at least in the world of football speculation – with Valdes tipped to put pen to paper before pulling on the gloves against the Gunners.
But there are a number of reasons why that is highly unlikely to happen.
Firstly the player is still recovering from a serious knee injury that blighted the end of his time at Barcelona. He is well on the way to recovery but is not yet match-fit, and throwing him in against one of the best sides in the Premier League was not so much a realistic report as a fairy-tale.
Then there is the presence of Anders Lindegaard. The Danish ‘keeper may not have started for United all season but he is still more than capable of replacing De Gea for a match or two.
He is not of the same quality of the young Spaniard, but currently he is a far more sensible pick than Valdes.
The importance of the match also means thrusting Valdes into the limelight for what would be his United debut is something van Gaal would never do.
Arsenal would focus on his lack of game-time, his inexperience behind a defence that currently changes by the week and the fact that they have home advantage.
And then there is the player himself, who will want to ensure he is fully fit before putting his body at risk; for now he should care only about his own recovery.
He owes nothing to United and would not want to risk a setback simply to stand in for a player who will banish him to the bench as soon as he is fit again.