Victor Valdes was delighted to make his Manchester United debut and immediately thanked the fans for a warm welcome.
The Spanish goalkeeper has been at the club since joining in the January transfer window but hasn’t been able to make his senior debut thanks to the outstanding form of David de Gea.
However, an injury to De Gea gave him the opportunity to make his debut and he received a loud cheer when he came on in the latter stages against Arsenal.
“It felt very good,” Valdes told ManUtd.com.
“David asked to come off very quickly and the next thing I knew I was on the pitch. It was a great feeling to be on the pitch at Old Trafford, the fans welcomed me very well and for that reason I am happy.
“I wasn’t happy with the result because it wasn’t a good one for us. It was a lucky goal for them, but I’m happy I made my debut. It was all very quick: David came off and I didn’t know what was happening, but then someone said ‘Victor, get in there'”.
“It’s been a good few months; my team-mates have treated me well here. The coach has also treated me well. The truth is that it has all been good. We have an incredible group of fans – to come on and be welcomed like that is incredible for a footballer.”
If De Gea does leave for Madrid this summer, you have to wonder whether Valdes will immediately step into his shoes as there is a distinct possibility that would happen.
Van Gaal brought Valdes to the club in January and helped him rehabilitate and overcome his injury troubles. Either he did that to train Valdes up as a potential De Gea replacement or he simply intended to cash in on him this summer having signed him on a free.
On paper, Valdes is a great replacement for De Gea given how much silverware he has won so far in his career but football is rarely that simple. That being said, regardless of who comes in it is going to be a difficult task replacing one of the best goalkeepers in the world.