Victor Valdes has signed an 18-month contract with Manchester United that will allow him to further his rehabilitation from a knee injury while serving as a back-up to starting netminder David De Gea.
[RELATED: Valdes joins United]
Valdes played 12 years at Barcelona before his contract was up at the end of the 2013-14 season. He had become a familiar face in the squad, often associated with excellent keeping between the pipes for Barca.
However, now 32 years old dealing with an major anterior cruciate ligament tear, the Spaniard finds himself positioned in the depth chart behind his younger, more dynamic countryman David de Gea, who has performed at his best this year and has drawn comparisons to Ballon d’Or candidate Manuel Neuer.
Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal, though, doesn’t envision Valdes backing down in training, but he did note that, as many would assume, it would be difficult for the De Gea to lose his spot over the course of the year.
The ultimate goal of the veteran’s signing was to create a first-class goalkeeping unit, not just in the form of positional intelligence.
The former Netherlands boss believes Valdes has enough skill to properly manage a Premier League game.
“Nobody is happy to be number two and Victor has to have ambition to beat David De Gea – but it shall be very hard for him,” Van Gaal said, courtesy of BBC Sport.
“My ambition is that I have the best players who can collaborate with each other to form the best team of the world,” he said.
“When we invited Victor in to have his rehabilitation at Manchester United, we did it for him and ourselves, so I could see if his quality is also still the same. He has confirmed both.”
The inclusion of Vales into the squad could signal the end of back-up Anders Lindegaard’s time at Old Trafford, as the 30-year-old has been expected to leave the Red Devils since August.