Antonio Valencia proves he’s one of Manchester United’s best players once again

by Leo Nieboer

Antonio Valencia has demonstrated that he is one of Manchester United’s finest players once again after picking up the Man of the Match award for his performance against West Ham United on Sunday afternoon.

It was another frustrating afternoon for Jose Mourinho: the Portuguese, who had to watch most of the game from the stands, saw his side dominate the entire affair, only to once again emerge without a victory.

Valencia, however, can be proud his afternoon after putting in another performance characterised by immense power, energy and discipline.

The Ecuadorian took to social media after the game with the message: “Today we could not get the three points even though we left everything in the field of play, now think of the next.”

Watching Valencia from the top of E36 yesterday, one thing struck me: at the age of 31, he is astonishingly fast. Really, really fast. Easily the fastest player on the pitch. His sheer power and control going forward, even when running at full tilt, acted as a strange reminder that there was a time when Valencia was United’s best winger.

And as United pushed for a late winner, with Marcus Rashford inexplicably taken off for Wayne Rooney, Valencia was once again the side’s strongest wide-man – the only real thing providing width and dynamism.

He often doesn’t receive the credit he deserves, but Valencia has continued cement himself as an indispensable asset under Mourinho.

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