Victor Valdes has been on the bench for Manchester United’s last two Premier League games but he could make his full debut for the club against Cambridge United in the FA Cup on Friday.
The Spanish goalkeeper joined the club as David de Gea‘s understudy but Louis van Gaal was quick to admit he knew Valdes would not be happy in that position on a permanenDavid De Gea“Nobody is happy to be No.2 and he [Valdes] has to have ambition to beat David De Gea, but it should be very hard for him,” Van Gaal said at the time.
“My ambition is that I have the best players who can collaborate with each other to form the best team in the world.
“We were the first team to buy in this transfer window. So when we can, we deal quick.”
De Gea is United’s undisputed no.1 goalkeeper at the moment and there’s no refuting that but the FA Cup offers Valdes an opportunity to get some playing time, an opportunity Van Gaal is likely to want to give him.
Unless Valdes was keen to simply earn a new pay cheque, he wouldn’t have signed a deal with United unless he felt Van Gaal would give him some playing time and there is no better match to do it in than an FA Cup tie against lower league opposition.
It will be interesting to see how Valdes plays if he starts because he has been out for so long with an injury but Van Gaal and his staff were happy enough in his ability to give him a permanent deal, so there must be some confidence he can still play at the highest level.
For De Gea, Valdes playing doesn’t mean he has been dethroned as United’s no.1 but he will certainly be aware of the added competition for the no.1 jersey and hopefully he can continue improving at the rate he has this season.