Antonio Valencia could be set to end his ten year spell at Manchester United in the summer, according to reports.
Valencia is having his worst season at Old Trafford by far. It all started last summer, when the Ecuadorian showed up for pre-season training well overweight. This particularly annoyed former United manager Jose Mourinho, who made his displeasure known, saying he had enjoyed ‘too much holiday’. He was forced to leave the club’s pre-season tour after just two games in order to work on his fitness back at Carrington.
Despite working his way back into contention, he never really earned Mourinho’s trust back. The pair had a falling out, and Ashley Young became the Portuguese’s preferred option at right-back. Even Diogo Dalot found himself ahead of Valencia in the pecking order. A number of niggling injuries have also plagued his season. It just hasn’t been his year so far.
Though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer eventually replaced Mourinho at the helm, things haven’t changed one bit. Solskjaer also prefers Young, Dalot and even the once forgotten man Matteo Darmian over Valencia. The right-back has only played in eight games this season and has now reportedly accepted that his time at United has come to an end.
The 33-year-old is still United’s captain and the club could extend his contract for another year. However, that is very unlikely at the moment and he is edging for a move away. The club are even set to let him leave for free as a mark of respect for all he has done during his decade with them.
He might even have left during the current window, but he is believed to have turned down offers from the likes of Fulham and Newcastle United on deadline day.
Valencia will leave having enjoyed a very successful career at Old Trafford. His trophy haul includes two Premier League titles, two League Cups, the FA Cup and the Europa League. His willingness to sacrifice his role as a winger and convert to a right-back in order to help out United in a position they were terribly lacking in will never be forgotten. He has been a top professional and a magnificent servant to the club.