The time has come for Manchester United to replace Valencia with Dalot
Antonio Valencia is not the first Manchester United player to face the wrath of Jose Mourinho. But, having dropped the skipper for the 3-2 victory over Newcastle United, the Portuguese should consider a long-term change.
Valencia has been a great servant for United, racking up 335 appearances since arriving at Old Trafford. However, his forward thrust is waning, and successful clubs rely on full-backs who can attack and defend in equal measure.
Diogo Dalot certainly has that ability, as he has already proved in his brief United career. He may be 19, with a lot to learn, but Luke Shaw shone as a teenager and his new teammate can do the same.
At 33, Valencia is approaching the twilight of his career, and now is the ideal time to pass the baton. The United skipper could remain to guide Dalot while the youngster is allowed to blossom.
Not all Mourinho’s decisions make sense, with his tendency to single out certain players even if the club suffers.
Overlooking Eric Bailly last season in favour of Phil Jones is a prime example, while Victor Lindelof and Shaw have both experienced their manager’s questionable methods.
But United need to build on their latest victory, maintaining an attacking spark and taking the game to opponents.
Selecting £19million summer signing Dalot in favour of Valencia will be a big step in the right direction.