Manchester United right-back Antonio Valencia will be out of action for nearly 2 months, after going through an operation on his arm.
Antonio Valencia, who has been one of the few top performers under Jose Mourinho so far, sustained an injury to his arm during Manchester United’s EFL Cup win over neighbours Manchester City.
A Manchester City player accidentally stepped on Valencia’s hand during the match, causing a fracture. However, the Ecuadorian refused to be subbed off, and instead fought on to help United secure a win over City.
Following the match, Valencia had an arm operation, and will be in plaster for at least 6 weeks. He is also expected to miss his country’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers.
Valencia gave an update on his injury via his Instagram page, by stating: “Now thinking only in recovery. I want to come back soon and help my team. I’ll come back stronger and always optimistic.”
Jose Mourinho will now have to assemble a Manchester United defensive line without 2 of his first-team members.
Eric Bailly has also been sidelined for the next few weeks, with Marcos Rojo, Daley Blind, and Chris Smalling struggling to fill in the Ivorian’s gap.
Smalling missed out on Manchester United’s goalless draw last weekend against Burnley, although he is expected to start on Thursday, when Mourinho’s men travel to Turkey to face Fenerbahce in the UEFA Europa League.
Matteo Darmian will be on hand to fill in Antonio Valencia’s spot, while Timothy Fosu-Mensah is also available to man the right-back position.
Jose Mourinho is reportedly lining up a winter bid for Monaco right-back Fabinho, although he will assess his options as the window approaches. The Portuguese is also believed to be interested in Southampton centre-back Jose Fonte.
However, before Mourinho can begin a winter spending spree, he will have to offload some of his current first-team defenders in order to raise funds and make space in the squad. And as per reports, Matteo Darmian and Marcos Rojo seem the most likely candidates to head out the exit door.