Manchester United announced on Tuesday that they had extended the contract of right-back Antonio Valencia for another 12 months with the defender now staying until the summer of 2018.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 17, 2017
The Ecuadorian right-back has been in good form this term for Manchester United, marshalling the right side of their defence with his usual energetic, combative style.
At 31 years old he still has plenty to give and Mourinho is obviously impressed with his input at Old Trafford since taking charge, able to defend and attack with equal effect.
That dual role is highlighted by these stats from Squawka, which may be a big reason for the extension of his contract.
Antonio Valencia has completed more take-ons (154) and won more tackles (200) in the league than any other Man Utd player since 2012/13. https://t.co/L88AYE0GgX
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 17, 2017
With more take-ons and tackles than anyone else in the Man United team, it’s clear how much he offers the Old Trafford side.
He has the ability to win possession and then dribble the ball into the midfield or even expose opposition full-backs in the final third on the overlap or simply by running directly at them.
United fans will be hoping to see more of that when Manchester United next play, away to Stoke City on Saturday afternoon.