Antonio Valencia

Two Antonio Valencia replacements Manchester United should consider

According to a report from the BBC, Antonio Valencia is likely to leave Manchester United this summer after the club decided against extending his deal.

The Ecuadorian, 33, has been at Manchester United since 2009, when he signed from Wigan Athletic. Antonio Valencia is approaching 10 years at Old Trafford but the Reds have not triggered an option on his contract that expired on Friday evening.

The 33-year-old right-back has a calf injury that has kept him out of action in recent weeks, and has only made nine appearances this season. He has been a fantastic servant to the club, winning two Premier League titles, one FA Cup, two League Cups, a Europa League, and three Community Shields since moving from Wigan.

Manchester United have other options at right-back in fellow veteran Ashley Young and teenager Diogo Dalot. But with Young having entered the twilight of his career and Dalot very young, the club should consider bringing in a replacement for Valencia in the summer transfer window.

That said, here are two Valencia replacements the Red Devils should consider.

  1. Aaron Wan-Bissaka (Crystal Palace)

Crystal Palace’s Aaron Wan-Bissaka has established himself as one of Europe’s hottest prospects after a fine breakthrough season at Selhurst Park. He has been brilliant this term, managing 28 appearances across all competitions thus far.

Aaron Wan Bissaka 2

Standing at 6ft., Wan-Bissaka has shown his calm and composed nature as a full-back, even though he is just 21. He has a very good positional sense and is adept at reading the game in the air as well as off the pitch. The youngster is blessed with explosive pace and exquisite dribbling skills but the striking feature of his game is his ability to time his tackles to perfection.

Undoubtedly after his meteoric rise, Wan-Bissaka is certainly going to attract a lot of interest this summer. He is still raw and has all the time to develop into one of the best right-backs, so United should definitely consider the former England U21 star to replace their outgoing skipper, Valencia.

  1. Joao Cancelo (Juventus)

Joao Cancelo, 24, joined Juventus from Valencia last summer and it hasn’t taken him much time to establish himself as one of the best full-backs in the world.

Joao Cancelo

The Portuguese has played right-back, left midfield, left-back and right midfield for Juventus in Serie A this season. Cancelo is a fast, agile and technically-gifted player who can contribute equally to both defence and attack. He not only has the ability to take on the opposition with his speed, acceleration and dribbling skills but also has the stamina and tenacity to track back and close down the attackers.

Read more: Forget Lingard and Mata – This exciting Bundesliga attacker would be the ultimate answer to Manchester United’s right-wing woes

With Valencia set to leave at the end of the season, Young coming to the end of his career and Dalot very young, Cancelo could be an ideal fit to help revive United’s defence under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

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