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5 potential replacements for Antonio Valencia at Manchester United

ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
5.55K   //    23 May 2019, 08:24 IST

Antonio Valencia in action for Manchester United
Antonio Valencia in action for Manchester United

Antonio Valencia's days at Manchester United are coming to an end, after the Ecuador international revealed he'd be leaving this summer on a free transfer - no contract extension has been offered to the 33-year-old. 

With over 300 appearances, 10 trophies, various individual accolades and more in his 10-year tenure at Old Trafford, his presence will be sorely missed.

Ashley Young cannot be relied upon as their first-choice, as the Englishman is also getting older and struggles defensively against better opposition. Matteo Darmian, who joined from Torino in 2015, has failed to command a starting berth and is widely expected to depart this summer too. 

The only reliable player at right-back is Portuguese youngster Diogo Dalot, who signed for £19m from Porto last summer. Dalot, 20, is injury-prone and not yet ready to play a full season so it's important the club address their need for defensive reinforcements - signing another to feature as welcome competition at the Theatre of Dreams. With that in mind, here's a look at five fullbacks United could target this summer to replace Valencia: 


#5 Yann Valery (Southampton)

Yann Valery has a promising future and impressed when called upon this past season for the Saints
Yann Valery has a promising future and impressed when called upon this past season for the Saints

The young French defender had a decent Premier League debut campaign with Southampton, while displaying the pedigree to become a world-class fullback in the coming years. Despite being part of a struggling Southampton side who flirted with relegation often, he regularly provided the spark down the right-hand side. 

He made 23 league appearances, scoring twice and creating one assist - a wonder goal against Manchester United among his season highlights. The 20-year-old would provide competition for Dalot, which could help get the best out of both youngsters. 

He'd be following in the footsteps of Luke Shaw, who made the same move from Southampton to United back in 2014. His explosiveness, technical ability and defensive strengths made him an ideal acquisition, not to mention being so young and a worthwhile long-term investment. 

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