Antonio-Valencia7Antonio Valencia was voted United’s best performing player in the 2011-2012 season, so it seemed like the right decision to move to the #7 shirt from #25 when Michael Owen left the club that summer.

Valencia struggled for form and confidence all season and quickly reverted back to his old shirt. Since then, our right winger has been steadily improving, which is believes is something to do with the shirt change.

“It was more to do with the fact that 25 was the number I had when I first came to the club and I played well wearing that,” said Valencia. “So I thought ‘why don’t I go back to 25?’ I had good times and good fortune in that shirt. There is no negative reason as to why I changed. I don’t want people to think I wasn’t doing my job for the team because of any added pressure of wearing the No.7 shirt. I suppose I set the bar high in 2012, and then I had a niggling problem with my back, which didn’t allow me to train properly. There is no sign of that now. I feel great, and have been able to train to my maximum and put in 100 per cent. That has been paying dividends in games, and I feel my fortune has changed going back to the 25 shirt.”