Even though choices at right back are scarce, Antonio Valencia did a great job preventing the opposition from scoring.
Antonio Valencia is among the best right backs in the Premier League. Earlier in his career, the Ecuadorian played in the right wing position for Manchester United. Furthermore, his skills on the wing transferred well to his newer role at right back.
Not only is a good defender, his crosses are accurate and he puts the ball in the net on occasion. When he joins the attack, he provides valuable support in case they need to drop back. However, there are times when Valencia takes the wing and provides crosses or shots.
One of his most memorable moments this season, Valencia received the ball outside the eighteen yard box against Everton. The ball bounced across the field and Valencia ripped a shot. It sped past the Everton keeper and it flew into the net. Additionally, this goal won Manchester United’s best goal of 2017.
Watch Valencia’s screamer here:
In fact, Manchester United great Gary Neville said that Valencia has “more than replaced him” at the right-back position. Neville made 400 appearances with Manchester United and had 148 clean sheets in his career. Also, the right back had over 100 tackles throughout his career. So, Valencia receives praise from a valued club associate.
Antonio Valencia statistics from the 2017/18 season.
Valencia made 31 appearances this season, which is almost every game in the season. While there were few options at right back, Valencia proved to be a valuable member on the pitch. The Ecuadorian scored 3 goals and assisted once. He has a tackle success rate of 56% and 14 clean sheets.
In addition, Valencia has 1,602 passes for the whole season, which totals out to about 51 passes per match. He also played 75 accurate long balls. With a team that struggles to produce offensively sometimes, these stats are important for a starting right back.
In the end, Valencia’s role in the starting eleven is secure. Now, Ecuador are not in the World Cup this time, so Valencia has the summer to train hard for next season. Now that Mourinho established a solid base this year, Valencia will play a big role in Mourinho’s scheme for next year’s campaign for the trophy.