Garth Crooks sends ‘valuable’ message to Man United fans about Antonio Valencia

Former Spurs forward Garth Crooks believes Antonio Valencia will be a key player in Manchester United's title challenge

Man United defender Antonio Valencia Photo: The Sport Review

Garth Crooks believes Antonio Valencia has a vital role to play in Manchester United’s title challenge this season.

The Ecuador international impressed in Manchester United’s 4-0 victory over Swansea City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Eric Bailly broke the deadlock in the first half before Romelu Lukaku, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial sealed three points in the final 12 minutes.

Valencia scored one goal and made three assists in 44 appearances in all competitions during the 2016-17 season.

The 32-year-old full-back was part of the Manchester United side that won the Premier League title in 2011 and 2013 under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Former Spurs forward Crooks believes Valencia is a vital player for Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho as the leaders look to end their four-season title drought.

“What an excellent choice of captain by United manager Jose Mourinho,” Crooks told BBC Sport.

“Antonio Valencia proved to be an excellent player under former boss Sir Alex Ferguson and looks even more valuable to United in this season’s title-chasing campaign under Mourinho.

“The Ecuadorian can still deliver the first-time cross when in advanced areas – unlike most full-backs in the Premier League – and is as quick in recovery as any defender in the top flight.”

Manchester United have beaten West Ham and Swansea City 4-0 in their opening two Premier League games of the 2017-18 season.

The Red Devils have signed Benfica defender Victor Lindelof, Everton striker Romelu Lukaku and Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic in the summer transfer window so far.

The 20-time English champions won the EFL Cup and the Europa League in their first season under the management of Mourinho.

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