Six months ago the idea of United’s Ecuadorian winger being surplus to requirements seemed about as likely as Arsenal selling Robin Van Persie to us. Antonio Valencia was one of the main reasons United were able to take the title race right down to the wire and there was even a case to be argued had he started at Eastlands it could have been title number 20.
Fast forward to this season and the player who wears the coveted number 7 shirt- a move many felt was more than justified has become a shadow of the player we’ve all grown to love these past few seasons. Instead of terrorising left backs Tony V seems more intent on giving United fans nightmares as his loss of form has been nothing short of catastrophic.
The Wilfried Zaha to United rumours have gathered such momentum with so many newspapers claiming a deal is in the pipeline it’s becoming increasingly difficult to ignore the idea that the young winger is Old Trafford bound. Eventually. Although Zaha can also operate as a striker or just off a front man, his services are more than likely going to be used on the right wing at United, an area that for the past year at least has been the domain almost exclusively of Valencia.
Despite what many have suggested, Nani doesn’t seem to be going anywhere- and unlike Valencia at least offers the option of being able to play in more than just one position. Nani may well end up leaving Old Trafford in the Summer, but that will still leave Ashley Young and Zaha if he were to arrive. When you consider the likes of Shinji Kagawa, Wayne Rooneyand Danny Welbeck can be used just off the main striker almost negating the use of wingers, then all of a sudden Valencia’s place in the side, or even the need for him looks far less assured.
As per usual with these things, there’s a lot of conjecture involved, but IF Zaha were to arrive and IF Valencia’s poor form were to continue is it really that inconceivable that United’s number 7 could fond himself surplus to requirements this Summer?
Have I lost the plot even suggesting such a thing? Is it all too possible we could be witnessing a ‘Lee Sharpe-esque’ decline with the winger?
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