Valdes ‘must prove himself’
LONDON — January signing Victor Valdes ( pictured) must earn his spurs in Manchester United’s reserve side before he can be considered for a full first-team debut, according to manager Louis van Gaal.
The 33-year-old arrived at Old Trafford for a free transfer on an 18-month deal in January having been the bedrock of a Barcelona side that won six La Liga titles and three Champions League trophies.
Valdes, however, has failed to displace incumbent David de Gea who continues to impress in an inconsistent United side, and Van Gaal had previously stated it would be “very hard” for him to do so.
The 20-cap Spain international, who recovered from a serious knee injury playing for Barcelona in March 2014, played for United’s reserves in a 2-1 win against Liverpool on 26 January.
Since then, however, Valdes has been an unused substitute on the first-team bench for eight successive matches.
“When you are out for more than a year, first of all you have to show yourself at a lower level. He has to do it in the second team. Ashley Young is doing that, and so is Michael Carrick. It is always the same. I think it is normal,” Van Gaal told reporters. Weekend fixtures Feb 21: Swansea City v Manchester United, Crystal Palace v Arsenal, Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion, Chelsea v Burnley, Hull City v Queens Park Rangers, Aston Villa v Stoke City, Manchester City v Newcastle. Feb 22: Tottenham v West Ham, Everton v Leicester, Southampton v Liverpool. — Reuters