Manchester United’s latest recruit Victor Valdes is expected to make his debut on Friday night, as the Red Devils face Cambridge United in the FA Cup Fourth Round.
The 33-year-old former Barcelon goalkeeper has won three Champions League medals, as well as the World Cup, but is set to don the gloves for United for the first time against the League Two minnows at Abbey Stadium, which boats a capacity of 8,100.
If Valdes was to feature against Richard Money’s side, it would become his first game since suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury for Barcelona.
After time out of football due to injury, Valdes put pen-to-paper on an 18-month deal with the Red Devils earlier in the month, but has spent the last two games on the bench against QPR and Southampton.
Manager Louis van Gaal made it clear the Spaniard was bought in as second choice to fellow international David De Gea, but the media have sparked a frenzy over the possibility of De Gea’s return to Spain to join Real Madrid, the local rivals of former club Atletico Madrid.
If Valdes was to feature against Richard Money’s side, it would become his first game since suffering a cruciate knee ligament injury for Barcelona, facing off against Celta Viga last March, ten months ago.
Dutchman van Gaal had worked with Valdes during his second stint at the Nou Camp as manager, and invited he goalkeeper to the club’s training facilities in order to complete his rehabilitation, with fellow keeper De Gea in sterling form.
The boss continues to reassure supporters a new long-term deal will be completed shortly, but the possibility of Valdes starting against Cambridge could cause a stir for many media outlets prompting the possibility of a transfer.
Van Gaal had worked with Valdes during his second stint at the Nou Camp, and invited he goalkeeper to the club’s training facilities.
However, teammate Chris Smalling has already praised the work rate and ability of the new signing in training, commenting:
“He [Valdes] is someone that we all look up to through what he's achieved already in his career but you can see that he's nowhere near done yet.
“On the training field he's so sharp and you can see that he's very agile. He's such a great addition and is a name that really belongs here at Manchester United.
“We've heard a few stories from him and quite a few people here have asked him questions. Barcelona is another great club and you want to get some insight of what happens abroad as well.”
Victor Valdes has been handed the number 32 jersey for the remainder of the season.