Pundit hails 32-year-old’s impact on Man United team: He’s so influential

The Spurs legend singles out versatile Man United defender Antonio Valencia for praise

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff
Man United defender Antonio Valencia Photo: The Sport Review

Antonio Valencia has an amazing influence on the Manchester United team, Garth Crooks has claimed.

The Ecuador international continues to roll back the clock with a series of commanding defensive performances in the Manchester United back four.

The Red Devils signed Valencia as a winger in 2009 to help fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo when the Portugal international moved to Real Madrid.

However, Valencia has established himself as Manchester United’s first-choice right-back over the past two or three seasons.

Jose Mourinho has even made Valencia his captain in the absence of Manchester United veteran Michael Carrick.

Valencia broke the deadlock in Manchester United’s 3-1 win at title rivals Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium last weekend.

Former Spurs forward Crooks believes Valencia has been an instrumental player for the Red Devils this season.

“I have commended the performances of Valencia on a number of occasions already this season and continue to do so,” Crooks told BBC Sport ahead of Sunday’s Manchester derby.

“The Manchester United captain continues to have an amazing influence on his team. This was one of the most professional performances I have seen from United away from home, and Valencia set the tone.”

Valencia scored two goals in 15 appearances in the Premier League before the visit of Pep Guardiola’s impressive Manchester City side on Sunday.

The Red Devils are looking to win their first Premier League title since 2013.

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