Valencia extends deal at Manchester United
Valencia has played 271 games, scored 21 goals and won six trophies since joining from Wigan in 2009.
In November, Valencia was named as the Manchester United player of the month and it is no surprise that he has been rewarded with a new deal.
Valencia is one of the best right backs in the Premier League and is a real attacking threat, as was shown with his assist for Zlatan Ibrahimovic on Sunday against Liverpool.
Whilst Manchester United have been blessed over the years with the world class delivery of David Beckham, Ryan Giggs and many more, data courtesy of EA SPORTS can reveal that it is in fact United right back Antonio Valencia who has completed more crosses than any other Premier League player so far this season!
Antonio Valencia: The Premier League’s best crosser
As you can see above, Valencia has completed 26 crosses, more than any other player this season. He has proved to be a secret weapon for Manchester United from right back, and even more surprising is that in spite of being the number one crosser in the league, his assist for Ibrahimovic against Liverpool was his first of the season!
Valencia has also completed a cross every 61.2 minutes so far this season for Manchester United, showing the amount of times he is getting into threatening positions from right back. He’s also completed 27.09% of his crosses so far this season, which is the second highest completion rate of the top 10 crossers in the league so far this season.
Valencia is in fact the fourth oldest member of the Manchester United squad, with Ibrahimovic and Carrick both 35, and Ashley Young a month older than the 31 year old Ecuadorian full back. However, that doesn’t stop the right back from proving himself to be one of United’s most underrated and most valuable players this season, for a number of reasons other than just his crossing.
On the ball, Valencia has completed the third most passes in the Manchester United side, and has also completed the third most passes of any Manchester United player in the opposition half as well, behind central midfielders Paul Pogba and Ander Herrera. He is also the only United defender to make the top five, showing his importance in attack as well as defence.
Valencia shows no signs of slowing up
The former winger also uses his skill at dribbling to great effect, having completed the second most of any United player so far this season.
Off the ball, there are also a variety of statistics that illustrate his importance to United. First of these is his tackling ability, having won the second most tackles of any United player so far this season.
Valencia’s statistics are equally impressive in his reading of the play as they are in his ability to go and win the ball. Again, Valencia has made the second most interceptions of any Untied player this season.
The last statistic illustrating his quality, is that Valencia has also made the second most blocks of any Manchester United player, again showing his willingness to throw his body on the line for his side.
Data Courtesy of EA SPORTS, the Lead Partner of the Premier League.