Football

Fergie hails Valencia capture

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Sir Alex Ferguson believes new signing Antonio Valencia can help Manchester United to a record fourth consecutive league title.

Having sold World Player of the Year Cristiano Ronaldo to Real Madrid for a record £80million, United are believed to have reinvested around £16million on the Wigan winger.

"Antonio is a player we have admired for some time now, having spent the last two years in the Premier League with Wigan," he said.

Valencia, 23, is likely to be the first of a handful of new arrivals at Old Trafford as Ferguson seeks to replace the attacking threats of Ronaldo and striker Carlos Tevez, who has opted not to join the Red Devils permanently.

But despite the prospect of more new names on the way, Ferguson is already convinced he has secured a player who can have a big impact on next term's title defence.

He continued: "I am sure his pace and ability will make a significant contribution to the team."

His lack of English may be a concern initially, although the main doubt of most United fans is a goalscoring return of just seven in 83 appearances for Wigan and four in 34 for his country.

Even though few would expect Valencia alone to match Ronaldo's phenomenal recent output, better will be expected from a player who spent a short time as a team-mate of former United star Diego Forlan at Villarreal. Forlan's experience proves players of high quality can struggle to make an impact at Old Trafford, although Valencia is looking forward to the opportunity.

He said: "Joining Manchester United is a dream come true for me. I have enjoyed my time at Wigan but I am thrilled to have the chance to challenge for the biggest honours in club football here.

"Playing in front of 76,000 fans alongside players like Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand and Ryan Giggs will be an amazing experience. I can't wait to get started.

Copyright (c) PA Sport 2009, All Rights Reserved.

Topics:
Ryan Giggs
Football
Carlos Tevez
Premier League
Alex
Manchester United
Cristiano Ronaldo
Wayne Rooney
Wigan Athletic
Antonio Valencia
Rio Ferdinand
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