The Antonio Valencia mystery continues after missing man returns

by Sam Peoples

The same Antonio Valencia plays for Ecuador and Manchester United but his performances for both have been the polar opposite of each other in recent times.

For United, he has no confidence to take his player on and more often than not passes backwards instead of attempting to run with it. If he does manage to get past his defender, the cross he fires in generally goes to nowhere. The Valencia from 2011/12 has been missing for a long time.

But for Ecuador, he is a machine. In every international break last season, Valencia was superb for Ecuador. His best performances last season were seemingly reserved for Ecuador. With his country, Valencia seems to play with a spring in his step and a smile on his face in comparison to how he does at United.

A few weeks ago against Bayer Leverkusen, we saw a glimpse of the Valencia that terrorised defences two years ago and earlier today against Chile, he showed it once again.


Valencia carried the ball from the halfway line and slid a lovely through ball to Caicedo who couldn’t miss. It was a swift, clinical attack instigated by Valencia and a far cry from the indecisive winger who has struggled with his form United this year.

It is moments like this fantastic run and pass that fans want to see Valencia doing for United on a regular basis but if that missing man doesn’t return sooner rather than later, this season may end up being his last at Old Trafford.

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