Antonio Valencia made a great impression during his first season at United, after signing from Wigan for £16m.

He had scored just 7 goals in 3 seasons at Wigan so critics questioned whether he was good enough for United. Valencia went on to score 8 goals and provide 9 assists in the league.

Valencia has been out of action since September and whilst Nani has done a great job to try and compensate for the absence, Sir Alex Ferguson has today recognised what an impact Valencia had last season.

“He was fantastic last season, absolutely brilliant,” said Ferguson. “He was a great signing, he really was. The great thing about him was he takes the ball with such great strength and balance. He can take the ball up to the other end of the pitch for you. We missed that pace and acceleration. Although Nani has done fantastic – I mean he’s been a revelation this season – we’ve missed that.”

Valencia was due to play for the Reserves against Blackpool this weekend but the pitch was deemed unfit. Some media sources have claimed he could be on the bench for our FA Cup game against Arsenal, although it is likely he will get a run out with the Reserves next Thursday before making his first team return.