Manchester United make right call in extending Valencia’s contract

Manchester United have triggered a one-year extension in Antonio Valencia’s contract, reports the Manchester Evening News.

What’s the word?

The Ecuadorian is in his eighth year at Old Trafford, and has been thriving under manager Jose Mourinho.

As a result of his positive form, the club have reportedly rewarded him with an additional year on his deal.

According to the Manchester Evening News, the three-year contract that Valencia agreed in 2014 under former manager Louis van Gaal included a 12-month option.

Much like they did with Marouane Fellaini, United have exercised the clause, meaning that Valencia will be tied down to the club until the summer of 2018, just before his 33rd birthday.

Why Valencia’s new deal is good news for United.

Since switching from the wing to right-back, Valencia has become a crucial part of the Mourinho’s team, playing in all but three Premier League games this season.

The only reason he was out of those specific games was because of a broken arm, but the manager proved how vital Valencia was to the setup by installing him as soon as he had recovered.

The former Villarreal player has been so impressive that he has forced Matteo Darmian down the pecking order, resulting in the Italian competing for the left-back spot.

Under Van Gaal, Valencia struggled to impress as a winger, making just 14 outings in the top flight.

He has certainly revived his career this season and looks set to continue being Mourinho’s first-choice right-back.