Bates reports Darren Fletcher is unlikely to start and that Valencia is the most likely candidate to replace Ander Herrera in Manchester United’s starting XI.
Earlier this week, Van Gaal said Marouane Fellaini wasn’t fit enough to complete 90 minutes but intimated the Belgian would be included in United’s match day squad. Meanwhile, Michael Carrick isn’t ready to return and Anderson is well out of Van Gaal’s plans this season.
Van Gaal could choose to turn to a youngster such as Ben Pearson who regular followers of the Under-21s want to see rewarded with an opportunity after a fine start to the season, but United’s boss might be set to make a surprise choice with Valencia.
Central midfield is not an altogether foreign position for Valencia as he has played there on multiple occasions for his national team Ecuador and what he would bring to the position is power, presence and natural width, something that could help Rafael on the right wing. He’d also be able to cover the Brazilian when he makes a forward run into Everton’s half.
Whoever plays, they will not be able to offer the same dynamism Ander Herrera does and although Valencia would be an outlandish move from Van Gaal, he has very little other viable options available to him.