Victor Valdes is already proving he is more than just a back-up signing at Old Trafford after giving a motivational speech to his young team-mates on Monday night.
The 33-year-old made his debut with the U21s side against Liverpool in unfamiliar surroundings but showed why Louis van Gaal wanted a more experienced head in the goalkeeping department.
Valdes is now the most decorated player at Old Trafford having won six La Liga titles, three Champions Leagues, a European Championship and a World Cup plus a range of individual honours.
Speaking about his immediate influence at the club, U21s coach Warren Joyce revealed after the game that Valdes took motivating his less experienced colleagues into his own hands during preparation for the match.
The Spaniard put on a video showing the heart-warming Hoyt story about a father who runs triathlons with his quadriplegic son because it gives him the sense of not feeling handicapped.
“We have motivational speeches on Friday mornings where the lads have to find out their own information and give a speech,” Joyce said.
“We were in the room and I was going to do something. He [Valdes] said “(Pep) Guardiola used to do this” and “I’ve got one or two”.
“The boy asks his dad to run and the dad says yes. The next clip he says “can we do a triathlon?” and they do the Ironman.
“So dad pushes him for the run, he’s got him in a dinghy as he swims and the last bit he’s got him on the front of a bike.
“The meaning at the end is: don’t let anybody say I can’t – I can.
“I played the video and he talked through it – it was brilliant.”
Joyce piled praise on Valdes for his immediate impact and hailed him as a ‘model pro’. For the youngsters at United, they need players like Valdes who they can look up to.
In a squad which severely lacks experience, Valdes could be far more than just a back-up goalkeeper for Man United this season.