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Not injured – the reason why we haven’t seen Antonio Valencia this month

Club captain Antonio Valencia had been a regular in the Manchester United starting lineup, but has not featured since our 0-0 draw at home to Valencia in the Champions League on 2 October.

At the time it was understood that the 33-year-old was having fitness issues following surgery over the summer, though he had been playing regularly earlier in the campaign.

However, Valencia has now explained that he has not been playing for us due to a tactical decision by Jose Mourinho. Ashley Young has been starting at right-back instead.

Though the Ecuadorian’s absence has coincided with him liking an Instagram post that called for Jose’s sacking following the aforementioned draw against Valencia last month.

The winger-come-full-back told Ecuador’s Area Deportiva radio that he has a good relationship with the manager and that he has been dropped recently for tactical reasons. He said:

“The relationship with Mourinho has always been a good one. Right now I haven’t been playing, but it’s more of a tactical decision. The player who has been in my place (Young) has been playing well. You have to respect the decision.

“The only thing I can do is prepare and be ready for when he (Mourinho) needs me and be in the right condition to compete. I’m calm right now and I know I’ll get an opportunity to play again.”

Antonio Valencia was part of the squad that travelled to Italy earlier this month but did not make the matchday squad for our 2-1 win at Juventus. He did play for his country against Peru last night so it will be interesting to see if he makes the squad for next weekend’s game against Crystal Palace.

Ashley Young’s defensive abilities were exposed in our 3-1 derby loss last weekend.

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