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Phil Jones: Antonio Valencia is a machine at Manchester United

by Leo Nieboer

Phil Jones has heaped praise on teammate Antonio Valencia, labelling the Ecuadorian as a beast at Manchester United.

The 31-year-old has established himself as a fundamental aspect of Jose Mourinho‘s line-up at Old Trafford, making 22 appearances so far this season.

Valencia was rewarded for his endeavours under the 53-year-old with a one year extension on his existing contract earlier this week.

And Jones, speaking to Inside United, was quick to hail Valencia for his superb influence at right-back this season.

“There’s just one word for Antonio – machine! The guy is a machine,” he said.

There was a time where Valencia, now seen as perhaps the best right back in the Premier League, was a frequently derided figure at Old Trafford, with many supporters lambasting the Ecuadorian for his shakiness on the ball and lack of penetration going forward.

Such criticism can sometimes lead to players retreating into their shells, afraid of making even the slightest mistake. But Valencia’s attitude has remained the same: every week he is there, wearing that same stony, emotionless expression, ready to give absolutely everything for the team – an attitude cultivated during the Sir Alex Ferguson era and deployed to great effect under Mourinho.

This is the type of guy, after all, who breaks his wrist and returns to action in just two weeks. He could probably play five times a week. And United fans will hope to see the Ecuadorian continue in the same vein as the months go by.

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