Antonio Valencia was the surprise winner of Manchester United’s Player of the Month award for January after fans voted across social media.
To be fair to the Ecuadorian, he was almost a constant in a defence that conceded just three goals in January and played an important part in getting United back to winning ways against QPR, setting up Marouane Fellaini‘s opener.
Whilst some fans may have voted for Valencia for a bit of fun, the lack of outstanding candidates aided his cause. Other nominee Marcos Rojo probably deserved it, but third nominee Daley Blind only played a couple of games in his actual position since returning on January 11th.
Despite the strong defence, United managed just eight goals in six games with Wayne Rooney failing to find the net, van Persie not finding it until the Leicester match whilst Falcao scored a goal at either end of the month.
Angel Di Maria has certainly played better whilst the likes of Juan Mata also struggled to make a big impact in a rather unspectacular set of results all round.
Fortunately for United, the defence has settled and Valencia told the United website he was happy with the recognition.
“First of all I must say that I’m very pleased to have won this award,” Valencia said.
“It was a very important month, not just for me but for us as a team. We won some crucial points and we aim to keep improving and keep winning as the season reaches its climax.
“I’m working very hard and hopefully the United fans are enjoying watching not just me perform, but also the rest of the team.
“I’d like to say thank you to every United fan who voted for me. We’ll continue to work hard and we’ll try to win you a trophy by the end of the season.”