Date: 11th July 2011 at 6:00pm
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Over the last few weeks, the rumour mill has gone into overdrive with the countless players set to come and go at Old Trafford. One of these rumours is the departure of  Nani from Manchester United, particularly since the arrival of Ashley Young at Old Trafford.

While I believe Nani will ultimately stay at United, what does next season have in store for Antonio Valencia?

With the arrival of Ashley Young at United, it could be argued that Valencia, not Nani, will have to make way and his place in the side might not be 100% guaranteed, particularly after a sub-par performance in the Champions League final against Barcelona, where Valencia particularly, simply went missing.

Nani meanwhile, excelled last season in Valencia’s absence and was voted as United’s Player of the Year. Throw in the added competition on the wings from Young, Ji-Sung Park and it doesn’t guarantee Valencia be a permanent fixture in the side next season.

Valencia has spoken out about Young’s arrival, welcoming the England international to the club and saying he has no interest in leaving. The Ecuadorian winger said:

“I do not fear his arrival. The season is long and under Alex Ferguson everyone will get their chance in United’s key matches.

“Ashley is a good footballer and I believe he will help us towards more success. As for myself, I have two more seasons left at United and I am convinced I will fulfil those. And maybe a few more years too.”

I have to agree with Valencia. Over a long season, he will get plenty of chances to shine and can rotate with Young and Nani for the two wing positions.

Actually I think United will be better next season if Valencia can stay fit and enjoy a full season. The side badly missed Valencia’s pace and crossing on the right wing last season, as he missed six months of the campaign with an ankle injury, which was evident in the fewer of number of goals last season that United scored.

United scored 78 goals in the league last season, 8 fewer than the previous year, and this could be attributed to the loss of Valencia, whose assists and crossing became an essential part of the team.

On his day, Valencia can destroy any opposing defender and cause havoc for the opposition, which was particularly evident when he destroyed Ashley Cole against Chelsea and when he was instrumental in the win over Schalke in the semi-final of the Champions League. His pace, power and creativity on the wing is a big weapon and a fully-fit Valencia can play an important part in hopefully delivering United’s 20th league title next season.

One player who I think will benefit from having Valencia for a full season is Wayne Rooney. The striker excelled in the 2009/10 season with Valencia on the wing and Rooney can hopefully revive his previous partnership with Tony on the wing.

Instead of posing the question of whether Young’s arrival means that one winger should go, I think the competition can bring out the best in all three wingers (Valencia, Young and Nani), as they will know that one bad performance means they could be dropped in favour of the other.

If United want to win their 20th title next season and try to avenge that loss to Barcelona by winning the Champions League, then they will need strength in depth and the different options that Valencia, Nani and Young all possess. The best teams have multiple ways to hurt the opposition and by having Valencia back for a full season, United will be stronger and I think Valencia can make the difference.

What do you think – can having a fully-fit Valencia next season make the difference for United?

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19 responses to “A huge boost to our title hopes this coming season?”

  1. jay says:

    can u help wit a pic of ashley young in a united jersey, articule doe

  2. TIME says:

    i would sell nani and velencia. and buy bale

    • Red Mick says:

      Yeah, also think we should sell Rio and Vida and get in Anton Ferdinand….

      Give up the dope mate…

    • Scott says:

      I would love Bale to go to a top club (preferably not Utd) just so everyone can see how wank he truely is.

    • the red devil says:


      Cluesless guy, why sell two brilliant wingers and buy an average one who would be out of his league at a club the size of Utd, Nani/Valencia are 10x’s the player bale ever be.

      Bale, frankly one of the most over-rated players ever to be in the prem lge…ain’t half as good as spurs, the uk press wants us to believe.

      Nani, Valencia, Young, all better players by a mile…..Morrison, come a few games, a yr or two, be twice as good as bale can dream of.

  3. Jamali says:

    Good post. i think competition brings out the best in all of them.

    Left wing – Young, Park
    Right wing – Valencia, Nani
    Young and Nani could play both wings.
    Then we still have the kids trying to force their way into the first team.

    We are well stocked in the wings. Just that our midfield is too light.

    Please sell Carrick and Gibson. They’re hopeless. Even if we don’t get Sneijder, I’d still want them to leave.

  4. Tom says:

    We need four top wingers and that’s what we have in Valencia, Nani, Young and Park. I think we will look to play Young or Park on the left and either Nani or Valencia on the right. I won’t lie, I was hoping we sign Sanchez, but I’ve given up hope of that possibility. I do still think the four wingers we have are top class.

    Hopefully we can add a top central midfielder to the squad, fingers crossed for Wesley Sneijder, but it’s looking doubtful. Gibson needs to go soon and hopefully that that will allow us to bring in another midfielder, possibly Lassana Diarra. Sneijder, Diarra, Carrick, Fletcher and Anderson would be five top central midfielder. It will allow us to play different formations and adapt.

  5. Saeed says:

    Good article,

    Some good points made by all.
    None of us including SAF could foresee the amazing Chicarito this season. Also what was not seen was how well Valencia linked with Rooney and Chicarito. Valencia’s defensive ability and awareness will always give him the edge over Nani.
    My point is that until games are played out we won’t really know how players will gel. Young might partner Berba really well, who knows?

    I’m not over fussed if Sneijder, Nasri or Modric don’t come to MU,(Modric to chelski,Nasri will see out his 1 year and Sneijder will stay in Italy) The one player I wanted to come was Sanchez,but he has his heart set on Barca.

    I think in Champs final, I was really disappointed in Valencia’s performance. I felt Abidal who he was facing was a weak link that could be exposed.He played out of his usual position, it seemed as though Valencia was only focusing on beating him and forgot about the bigger picture. That said, Valencia with Chicarito are my players of the season.

    Finally, I don’t see Barca dominating Europe next season. Their mid field is old, thats why the manager wants to bring in younger players. Their squad is small. Lastly, Messi isnt the greatest player as he can NEVER deliver for Argentina…in fact hes hopeless!(Argentina Fan)

    • J Santos F says:

      I did expect Chicharito to be as good as he was actually! I had faith since he signed just one of those feeling I had! When I brought the Manchester United kit with his name my mates were taking the piss and saying watch Chamackh be better and I simply said just wait and see. we have the best striker in the league!

  6. Saeed says:


    Buy Bale? are you crazy?
    He had an 8 week spell where he did well in Europe, then disappeared with injury and bad performances. Maybe MU should buy Bale, he’ll make a great partner for that 3 yard sideways playmaker, Carrick!

  7. Sheldon says:

    If Bale dreams he was as good as Nani I’m sure he wouldn’t want to wake up.

  8. yeS we need a fully fit valencia 2 boost our title hope

  9. Ryan says:

    Bale nope.. injury risk and media fluffs him to be better than he is.. talk of him being player of the year is so dumb.. one night in milan.. wow

  10. the red devil says:

    Bale, all real football fans (not spurs), knows he’s an over-rated joke with actual lil ability.

    Like Ryan said, one good game in milan, wow…..all he did at Madrid in april was dive to the floor and cry like a girl, totally out of his league in europe and at a big club, he be exposed as average.


    Sneijder would be a good buy, as to Sanchez, Pastore, Costa, Schweinsteigger, Bastos, even Mata.

    Nani, Cleverley, Tunnicliffe, Morrison, Drinkwater, Rafa, Fabio, Smalling, Kiko, Welbeck, Hernandez, Jones, Young, Norwood, Valencia, De Gea, W.Keane, Pogba, James, Rooney, Cofie, Mats, Leao…..the future is Red, the future is United.