Manchester United have announced that Antonio Valencia has signed a new three-year deal which will keep him at the club 2017, with an option to extend for a further year.
Valencia, 28, was going to be a free agent next summer if he didn’t sign a new deal with United and he is delighted now that a deal has been announced.
“My time at Manchester United has been like a dream come true,” Valencia told Manutd.com.
To be the first Ecuadorian player to win the English Premier League was a very proud moment for me and for my country.
“I am so happy to have signed a new deal and am looking forward to working with Louis van Gaal. There is great team spirit within the club and we are all determined to get back to winning ways.”
Valencia signing a new deal makes perfect sense from a business perspective given that he could have left for free if he wasn’t signed up to a new deal. However, from a playing perspective, Valencia has got his work cut out to repair a damaged reputation.
Prior to his serious injuries, Valencia was indomitable and had an insatiable desire to run at defenders at pace. Since his injuries, he has been abominable and deflatable, a cowering winger who would rather pass backwards than bear any responsibility going forward.
The jury will be out on whether a new deal is the right decision for the squad but if Louis van Gaal is happy for him to have a new deal, then he must be confident he can get Valencia playing like his old self again.