Defensive midfielders are often viewed as the most under-appreciated players at a club. For example, for Man Utd in the past, Michael Carrick is a player that had been fundamental to their years of success – yet the Red Devils didn’t really know it until he wasn’t available.
Nemanja Matic, then, would be considered under-appreciated. After all, he doesn’t really grab any headlines, and nobody has viewed him as the main man in the midfield at Old Trafford.
However, our landlord believes that another man deserves that title – Antonio Valencia.
Valencia’s name has rarely been mentioned over the course of the past year, but his rise has been perhaps even more impressive.
Though naturally an attacking midfielder or winger, Valencia has transitioned wonderfully into a right-back, and last season he was amongst the Premier League’s most efficient in that position.
Naturally, he offers a lot going forward, with great pace, energy and crossing making the right-hand side of the Man Utd first team very strong.
However, that doesn’t mean he’s poor defensively, In fact, the Ecuadorian is strong at the back, and he’s remained consistent where many of his teammates have failed to do so.
Not to mention, he has been the club captain regularly over the last few years, and that’s a testament to his quality and impact. It also highlights the role that he has off the pitch, given that he’s clearly a leader in the dressing room.
Valencia isn’t ever mentioned in lists detailing the best players at Man Utd – but he deserves to be.
Man Utd fans – thoughts?
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