According to the father and agent of Manchester United star Antonio Valencia, Arsenal are a summer option for the Ecuadorian this summer. Luis Valencia has revealed that his son will definitely leave the Red Devils in the summer when his contract in Manchester expires.
Valencia has many summer options
Valencia senior told Ecuadorian El Universo: “He definitely will not continue in Manchester. He wants a change in the air and the club is not going to renew him either. Like everything in life, everything comes to an end.”
Further quizzed about his son’s future, he continued by saying: “Arsenal, West Ham, Inter Milan and one club from China are options, but in football, everything is changing.
“He wants to choose the best option, but above all, he wants to sign a contract for two years. Not for the money, but for peace and hopefully, he told me, be hired by a team that fights for important things.”
A step backwards for the Gunners
Although the Gunners hierarchy are operating a transfer policy of caution, Arsenal signing the 33-year-old would seem like a step backwards. Valencia used to be a decent player, but the fact that United are prepared to allow him to leave illustrates the fact that he is in decline.
Arsenal signing an ageing player from one of their rivals for Champions League football would also send out the wrong message. If he is not good enough to be offered a new deal at Old Trafford, then the Gunners should not be going anywhere near him.
The club from north London have signed veteran Stephan Lichtsteiner last summer. The Swiss stars deal expires at the end of the season, though.
With first-choice right-back Hector Bellerin out of action through injury, I can see the reasoning for a short-term deal for Valencia. However, at his age the Gunners would likely have to find another back-up for Bellerin next summer, so would back to square one in building a squad.
Gunners need to attempt to build a squad
The current Arsenal squad is ageing, so adding another player in the twilight of his career in Valencia does not seem a great long-term move. Gunners boss Unai Emery needs to start bringing in younger players to attempt to build for the long-term.
The Arsenal hierarchy must give the Spaniard their backing to build a team capable of qualifying for the Champions League and challenge for the title in the near future. I cannot see how signing a player like Valencia would help Arsenal move forward.
Would Antonio Valencia be a good signing for Arsenal?