Antonio Valencia set to make return for Manchester United against Stoke City

by Leo Nieboer

Antonio Valencia looks set to make a return to action for Manchester United against Stoke City next Monday.

The Ecuadorian picked up a hamstring injury during the 2-1 win over West Bromwich Albion last month and hasn’t featured since.

He made a full return to first team training last week and has been pictured working hard with the squad in Dubai.

And former Man United player Sammy McIlroy has told MUTV that he believes Valencia will be ready to face the Potters next week.

“I think Antonio will be back against Stoke,” he said. “The manager said he is back in training and Valencia is a fit boy, so it won’t take him long.”

“In the last few years, he has made that right-back position his own. He is so strong, he is built like a boxer, and he has enjoyed the best form of his career in the last few seasons for me.”

Jose Mourinho’s men notably missed the cut and thrust provided by the 32-year-old during draws with Leicester City, Burnley and Southampton, seemingly bogged down and out of ideas.

Valencia, even at the age of 32, has always been a reliable source of controlled energy on the pitch, ensuring discipline and precision on the ball to go with an insatiable desire to bomb forward. Hardly any winger in the Premier League can match his sheer strength and ebullience, but you just wonder how long that will last for.

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