Saturday didn’t just bring frustration on the field for Manchester United, but frustration off it too. That’s because right-back Antonio Valencia underwent surgery on a fractured hand sustained in the midweek win over Manchester City at Old Trafford. According to the Sun, he’ll now miss the next six weeks of action; a big blow heading into a busy period of the season.
Valencia, though not a right-back by trade, has performed exceptionally well since introduced to the role by Louis van Gaal last season. Strong and quick enough to snuff out any opposition danger, he has proved a reliable option, preferred to Italian specialist Matteo Darmian. However, the former Torino man will now be called upon to deputise, and will doubtless be secretly relishing to the chance to show José Mourinho what he can do.
Behind Darmian, the other rotation option at right-back is Timothy Fosu-Mensah, who will probably feature in the Europa League and cup matches. He’s very much one for the future, though not quite one for the present — at least if his sparing use by Mourinho is anything to go by.