Antonio Valencia 1

Premier League Opinion: 3 summer destinations for Antonio Valencia

Manchester United have always paid keen attention to the transfer market and have a fairly dependable record of landing the players that they target. One such success story from the days of Sir Alex Ferguson was former Villarreal man Antonio Valencia.

The Ecuador international was brought in from Wigan as an alternative for the outgoing Cristiano Ronaldo, who made his switch to Real Madrid in the same window. But considering the heights that Ronaldo reached from there, Valencia replacing him effectively was instantly ruled out.

Now 33, his contributions over the years have been unquestionable and he remains the captain of the club even though his opportunities in the league this season have been few and far between.

With just 5 Premier League games under his belt this season, it would be no surprise to see him look for a move away. 

Antonio Valencia

Reports arising from Sky Sports are suggesting that the Ecuadorean full-back is nearing his final months at Manchester United as his agent has confirmed that he will not be staying at the club beyond the end of the season when his current contract expires.

Here are 3 clubs who could benefit from signing the veteran in the upcoming summer window: 

Southampton 

The departure of Cedric Soares to Inter Milan earlier this season has hit the Saints team quite hard. Despite young Yan Valery’s resurgence in recent weeks, the addition of an experienced head will only aid Ralph Hasenhuttl’s cause.

cedric soares
Cedric Soares

Antonio Valencia still has quite a bit to offer in an attacking sense and considering that Valery is still a teenager, bringing the Ecuadorean in could prove to be brilliant as he can compete with the youngster for the starting spot while also mentoring him for the years ahead. 

West Ham 

Ryan Fredericks’ Hammers career has been hindered with injuries and while their move for Pablo Zabaleta last season was seen as a blunder, it actually worked charms for them as his experience really showed in their overall play down the right. 

zabaleta
Pablo Zabaleta

With Zabaleta now seemingly running out of steam, Valencia could be a good option to replace the Argentine as the Ecuadorean still has the stamina and physical capabilities to perform at the top level for Manuel Pellegrini’s side. 

Arsenal 

Despite the fact that this move is probably a long shot, Arsenal are one of the clubs in the Premier League who desperately need a massive overhaul in defence as individual mistakes and the injury to Hector Bellerin have hit them quite hard this season. 

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With the defensively unreliable Stephan Lichsteiner and Carl Jenkinson as the only alternatives, it is essential for Emery to bring in a replacement and a short term solution could be to move for Valencia who, despite his age, is still far superior to the aforementioned alternatives in terms of footballing quality.

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