Spanish goalkeeper Victor Valdes has been training superbly at Manchester United, according to journalist Andy Mitten.
Mitten, writing for Eurosport, has admitted that the future of the club's current No.1 'keeper David de Gea looks more uncertain than ever, but has insisted that Valdes is an excellent player, who would be ready to take over between the sticks from next season.
Valdes, who official signed for the Red Devils earlier this season, still hasn't made an appearance for the first-team under Louis van Gaal, but has played on a number of occasions for the club's Under 21 side as he goes about finding his form and fitness.
The former Barcelona goalkeeper, of course, spent a lengthy period out on the sidelines before moving to Manchester after undergoing surgery on his knee in March 2014.
It appears, though, that with De Gea's future at Old Trafford in some doubt, the experienced Spaniard could have a key role to play in the 2015/16 campaign.
Mitten wouldn't be surprised if Valdes was handed the No.1 shirt next season, as he claimed: "At least United have been proactive. Victor Valdes is an excellent, experienced goalkeeper who has taken to living in England with his family.
"His English is far better after six months than De Gea’s after three years. While it’s a surprise that he’s not played a first-team game, Valdes has been training superbly and is good enough to be United’s goalkeeper.
Brilliant De Gea
One thing's for sure, if De Gea really does leave Old Trafford this summer, then his replacement will have to produce something rather special to emulate the shot-stopper between the sticks.
Ultimately, over the course of the last 18-months, De Gea has been United's standout and most consistent player. There's no doubt about it, without De Gea this term, the Red Devils may well have missed out on Champions League football for next season - something they now look destined to secure.
Valdes can replace him
Ok, so it will no doubt hurt the United faithful if they lose one of the best young goalkeepers in world football, but Valdes may well prove a fine replacement. In truth, Van Gaal appears to have been clever with the ex-Barcelona man: it seems slightly bizarre that Valdes still hasn't made his debut for the club, but Van Gaal may well be plotting for next season.
If Valdes does take over as the club's No.1, then the United boss will want to make sure that he's completely ready to take on the role. Having assessed him for such a long period of time, the United chief will no doubt know whether he's able to trust Valdes as he goes in search of taking the team forward next season.
At the end of the day, Valdes has been there and done it before, and certainly wouldn't have lost his ability after one lengthy injury, so there's a chance he will prove a major bargain for the club next season.
Manchester United fans: Do you think Valdes is good enough to replace De Gea? Have your say in the comments section below!