Manchester United striker Robin van Persie has welcomed Victor Valdes to the club after it was confirmed the former Barcelona goalkeeper had completed his protracted free transfer to Old Trafford on Thursday.
Valdes has been training with Manchester United since October in a bid to regain fitness following the long-term knee injury that had scuppered a move to Monaco, and now links up with his former manager Louis van Gaal on a permanent basis.
The 32-year-old has been without a club since making the decision to leave Barcelona following the expiration of his contract with Barcelona last summer, and has signed an 18-month deal with Manchester United.
Van Persie on Friday shared an image of Valdes on his Instagram account offering a welcome message to the Spain international, who has been recruited to support compatriot David de Gea, the club’s incumbent ‘keeper.
De Gea has been in superb form for Manchester United this term, with the 24-year-old their best performer by quite some distance, and he has further established himself among the top players in his position in the world.
But the arrival of Valdes, still himself among the goalkeeping elite, led to inevitable questions regarding the future of De Gea as a Manchester United player, given that he will be out of contract next year.
For now at least, however, Valdes will indeed be required to provide back-up to De Gea, with Van Gaal confirming as much following the official announcement of the deal.
“Victor has remained very professional throughout his rehabilitation from injury and has been very impressive during his training sessions with the first team over the past weeks,” Van Gaal said.
“He joins the club as the number two goalkeeper and is a great addition to the first team."
The arrival of Valdes will be the death knell to the career of Anders Lindegaard at Manchester United, and the former will replace the Dane on the bench for the weekend clash with top four rivals Southampton.