The evolution of a football player, in its totality, seldom ends in the same position where one began. Even the most attacking of talents, if given the long tenure, often get relegated to a deeper midfield role towards the fag end of their careers.
And yet, there are those that evolve into a bigger role to play than they previously did, and maintain a presence that is often integral to their team’s functioning.
A textbook example of this is Antonio Valencia, who during his attacking days, once even manned the famous no.7 jersey at Manchester United.
Nowadays, he reigns supreme as their captain on the right defensive flank, and plays a stellar conduit role for the side.
However, at 32 years of age, he is not a long-term option for the club, and they have caught wind of this, and apparently identified his replacement.
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As per Mirror, Jose Mourinho is sizing up Southampton’s Cedric Soares as Valencia’s eventual successor at the spot.
The 26-year-old from Portugal is one of the few chinks that have been functioning well in a Saints squad that has seen all sorts of problems this season.
Currently placed four points from safety, some major worries await them going into the final stretch of games.
As of such, Soares will be an ideal pursuit for the Red Devils, and the source adds that he could come for as cheap as £20 million, and if Southampton do get relegated, it is unlikely that they will seek to heighten that price-tag.
This will be a great bargain for Manchester United, whose other options are likely to cost them quite a bit.
Owing to his experience and the kind of dynamics he has shown over the past seasons, much can be expected. Initially, he could be involved in squad rotation with Valencia, before going on to claim the spot for his own in the long-term.