Valdes arrived at Old Trafford several weeks ago and has yet to play for the club but is expected to make his debut this week in the FA Cup against Cambridge United and Smalling has told the official Manchester United about the positive impact Valdes is already having at the club.
“He (Valdes) is someone that we all look up to through what he’s achieved already in his career but you can see that he’s nowhere near done yet,” he said.
“On the training field he’s so sharp and you can see that he’s very agile. He’s such a great addition and is a name that really belongs here at Manchester United.
“We’ve heard a few stories from him and quite a few people here have asked him questions. Barcelona is another great club and you want to get some insight of what happens abroad as well.”
Replacing experienced players is something Van Gaal failed to do in the summer so Valdes adds a lot to the squad in that respect given how much success he has had over the years.
Despite being vastly experienced, the 33-year-old is set to play a supporting role to his fellow Spaniard David de Gea but could be set to take the number one shirt should De Gea leave the club either this summer or in 18 months time.
Valdes was given his debut at Barcelona by Louis van Gaal, going on to win six La Liga’s and three Champions Leagues, two of them in finals against United.
Valdes wasn’t unduly tested as a dominant Barcelona squad swept United aside in Roma in 2009 and again at Wembley in 2011 but the Spain international can expect a rather different type of game against League Two side Cambridge on Friday night.