Published On: Sun, Aug 21st, 2016

United's Herrera: Antonio Valencia is world's best right-back

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Jason Cairnduff / Reuters

Manchester United midfielder Ander Herrera rates teammate Antonio Valencia as the best right-back in the world.

The Ecuadorian made his name in English football as an explosive winger for Wigan Athletic, but under Louis van Gaal was shunted further back in the starting XI. Under new manager Jose Mourinho, Valencia has continued on the right of a back four in the first two 2016-17 Premier League outings, and has performed admirably.

“I have always liked the way he plays,” Herrera gushed to MUTV.

“I know he’s not a normal right-back because he used to play as a winger but I think that, right now, he is the best right-back in the world maybe with Dani Alves, because I like Dani Alves a lot.”

Rather than conservative full-backs like Leicester City‘s Christian Fuchs or West Ham United‘s Aaron Cresswell, Herrera prefers them to be of a more marauding nature. Given his old attacking role, this is something Valencia has in his locker.

“When you have a right-back who is quick to defend and he is crossing maybe six or seven times a game, always or almost always successfully, then he understands football,” Herrera continued.

“When I have the ball, I know that Antonio’s always ready to receive it, always to give you one solution.”

The usually reliable Matteo Darmian is yet to play a league minute this campaign, and poses the greatest threat to Valencia’s starting role.

United has begun this term with wins over Bournemouth and Southampton, and continues with a trip to newly promoted Hull City next Saturday.

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