Van Gaal signed Valdes, who he had previously worked with at Barcelona, in January of last year once the keeper made a full recovery from a cruciate ligament injury.
However, the pair fell out after Valdes reportedly refused to play for Man United’s U21 side last term. The Spaniard moved to Belgian side Standard Liege on loan during the January transfer window but he insisted he is “grateful” for van Gaal’s help.
“He discovered me at the age of 20. After my injury he was the one who called me to come to United. You have to be grateful,” Valdes said.
When asked if he had spoken to United’s Belgian contingent ahead of the move, Valdes added: ”I didn’t have time to talk to [Marouane Fellaini] because I left really quickly. We’ll contact each other to talk about the club and the city that he knows very well. On the other hand, I had a discussion with Ilias Moutha-Sebtaoui, a young Manchester United keeper who came from Standard and who told me that it was a big club and that I’d feel good here. He wasn’t mistaken.”
Valdes has enjoyed a solid start to life at Standard, keeping a clean sheet on his debut in a 2-0 win over OH Leuven.
He then helped his side reach the Belgian Cup final with a 1-1 draw at Genk in the second leg of their semifinal. It is good to see Valdes getting his career back on track as he is rightly regarded as one of the most talented players of his generation.