Antonio Valencia might not be a regular starter for Manchester United any more but out in Ecuador he’s still one of their central figures.
This international break, Ecuador face off against Argentina on Friday night before facing Bolivia on Tuesday, so he’ll be getting plenty of game time which isn’t something he’s been getting too much of at Manchester United.
In preparation for those games, Valencia has been hard in training with Ecuador and in one of the rarest sights in football, there’s a photo of Valencia with a huge grin plastered across his face. We were as surprised as you:
With Matteo Darmian making the right-back position his own, Valencia has found himself on the sidelines more often than not but he can’t argue with that decision from Louis van Gaal because he knows it’s the right one.
Back in the day when Valencia was unstoppable, he drove past defenders with power and fired in dangerous crosses. Now he’s lost his confidence, he squares up to a defender but more often than not just simply passes it backwards or fires in a cross without looking.
An international break can always work well for any player if it helps them re-find their own confidence and maybe, probably not but maybe, that can happen to Valencia over the next two weeks.