After a fabulous 2011/12 season for Manchester United, much was expected of Antonio Valencia this campaign with the winger being considered the most in-form right-sided player leading to him to him collecting a clean sweep of awards at the end of year awards for the club.
The 27-year-old Ecuadorian has himself admitted this has been a disappointing year for him on a personal level and has at times looked like a man simply not enjoying his football.
But speaking to El Comercio, Valencia insists he is happy at the club but didn’t quash talk over a summer transfer.
“There are seven games left and we can only think about being champions. Nobody has told us anything. I am calm, I am happy,” said Valencia.
“If there is an interest from another club or when you know about my future, you will be the first to know.”
This season, Valencia has hardly hit the heights of last year with the swash-buckling performances of the previous campaign very much a distant memory, and statistics show that Valencia has certainly been sub-par in a United shirt at least.
It would of course come as a massive surprise if Valencia leaves Old Trafford this summer with Nani and Young hardly setting the world alight themselves and with the former’s deal set to expire next summer, Nani’s future appears anywhere but at United.
However, there has been a shocking regression in form this campaign and while United’s season defining loss at Manchester City in April 2012 was partly attributed to Valencia’s omission from the starting eleven, skipping forward 12 months it was no surprise to see the Ecuadorian on the bench.
Many have put the noticeable dip in form to a long-standing injury while others blame the weight of the #7 jersey. Another theory is that Valencia has simply been found out by the opposition with full-backs realising how limited his game is.
Whatever the reason, it is clear that Valencia needs to return to form next season especially with the exciting Wilfried Zaha, who also operates from the right likely to challenge the Ecuadorian international for a starting berth.