In a high flying season for Manchester United, none of the players have fared more poorly than Antonio Valencia. Wearing the ever prestigious number 7 jersey of United, he has been a huge disappointment this season, despite showing early promise.
In his four seasons at the club, this has been his worst performance in a Red shirt. During the early half of the season, his partnership with Rafael was considered one of the best combos in Premier League beside Everton duo Leighton Baines and Steven Pienaar.
But, as the season progressed Valencia’s form has gone down and at times he became a huge subject of frustration. He does the same thing week in week out and therefore getting predictable for the defenders.
He has made 30 key passes this season, even less than Stewart Downing who has made 45 key passes this season. His average pass of 35.5 is much lower than other top attacking wingers in the league.
However, the most frustrating side of his game is his crossing. In previous seasons, plenty of goals have been scored directly from his crosses, but this season, instead of floating the ball he tried to deliver low crosses which most of the time are cut out by the defenders. Out of 120 crosses he attempted, Valencia is only successful in making 25 accurate crosses.
Is he feeling the pressure at United? Several great United players have worn the prestigious no 7 jersey like Bryan Robson, George Best, Eric Cantona, David Beckham and Critiano Ronaldo. Valencia is seen by many as a misfit for this shirt.