Ole Gunnar Solskjaer noted in Friday’s press conference that Antonio Valencia was not playing under his management because of a series of niggling injuries.
The Ecuadorian, who was made club captain in the summer, has only managed eight appearances for Manchester United this season.
His last outing was on January 2 against Newcastle United – a performance for which he was widely criticized by Man United supporters.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of Saturday’s clash with Fulham, Solskjaer opened up about how Valencia had been struggling with persistent injuries.
“Well hopefully he’ll recover,” he said.
“Because he’s been training hard, really hard. Then he got a setback, so hopefully in a couple of weeks he’ll be back with us, he’s been a fantastic servant for the club, he’s captain for a reason.”
“So hopefully we can get him back on the pitch. But it was hard when he broke down, he would’ve travelled now this weekend.”
Valencia has never been too far away from the treatment table in the post-Fergie era, such is the Ecuadorian’s bullish style at right-back. Unfortunately, though, all those knocks add up.
The captain’s overall urgency and zip has severely diminished over the last year. Even Jose Mourinho recognised it. Solskjaer certainly has.
Supporters will feel that Valencia leaving in the summer serves as the best thing for both parties going forward.