Ryan Giggs has insisted that Antonio Valencia is having his best season at Manchester United under Jose Mourinho.
The Ecuadorian has been an immovable presence at right back this season, making 37 appearances and dazzling supporters with his direct, powerful style.
His exploits at Old Trafford were awarded with a one year contract extension earlier in the season.
And Giggs, speaking after Man United’s 2-0 win over Chelsea, was quick to heap praise on the way in which Valencia has improved this season.
“He is having his best ever season at Old Trafford at right-back. I have always rated Antonio as a top player but he looks better than ever now and dominates that right side,” he said.
One thing that stood out about Valencia’s display against Chelsea was, above anything, his sheer composure on the ball. He has hallmarked his ascension under Mourinho with a sense of grit and power, but not so much craft.
But with Ander Herrera – charged with man-marking Eden Hazard – essentially filling in as a right back the 31-year-old had a chance to move forward and link up with teammates, and he was supremely reliable, weighting his stabbed passes to the likes of Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba perfectly.