Manchester United should give Victor Valdes a second chance at the club if Louis van Gaal departs at the end of the season.
The Dutchman, who has steered the club to the FA Cup final against Crystal Palace, exiled Valdes from the side after a bust-up last year.
Valdes was sent on loan to Standard Liege in January but returned last month, even though he is not expected to be at the club next season.
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However, if Van Gaal makes way for either Jose Mourinho or Ryan Giggs, then the club should do their utmost to reintegrate him into the squad.
Despite struggling to break into the Spain team because of competition from Iker Casillas and Pepe Reina, Valdes was once one of the greatest goalkeepers in world football.
He found himself between the sticks for Barcelona from a young age, having been given his bow at the Nou Camp by Van Gaal in 2002, and he went on to establish himself as the club’s number one for years to come.
The 34-year-old won the Champions League three times during his time in Catalonia, with the first coming in 2006 when Frank Rijkaard was in charge.
Pep Guardiola’s arrival in 2008 brought Valdes even more success and he won Europe’s top club competition twice more under the Spaniard before leaving as a free agent in the summer of 2014.
However, despite possessing six La Liga winners medals, Valdes settled for playing second fiddle to David de Gea when he joined United in January 2015.
Old Trafford nightmare
Valdes apparently joined because of his close relationship with Van Gaal, yet the Dutchman has ensured his Old Trafford dream quickly turned into a nightmare.
The stopper has featured just twice for the club – in the final two league games of last season – but then fell out with van Gaal, who accused him of refusing to play for the club’s under-21 side.
That led to the United manager signing Sergio Romero on a free transfer last summer, even though the Argentinian has never looked capable of impressing at such a big club.
Should De Gea be sidelined for a lengthy period of time, United would have to rely on the experienced, but calamitous Romero.
Hence why, should Van Gaal depart, the club should give Valdes a second chance at forging a Premier League career for himself.
The Spaniard is entering the twilight years of his career but, as Petr Cech has shown this season and Edwin van der Sar showed before that, age should not necessarily prevent him from playing at the highest level.
Valdes would be a better deputy than Romero, but whether or not the club sees it that way in the long term remains to be seen.
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