Manchester United have triggered a one-year extension clause in Antonio Valencia’s clause that will keep the defender at Old Trafford until 2018.

Manchester United have triggered a clause in Antonio Valencia’s contract that will extend the Ecuadorian’s contract by one year and keep the right-back at Old Trafford until 2018, the club confirmed on Tuesday.

Antonio Valencia has had quite the journey at Manchester United. Having impressed as an exciting 24-year-old in attack for Wigan Athletic for three seasons, Valencia joined the Red Devils in 2009.

The Ecuador captain took to life at Old Trafford with aplomb as he quickly settled in to establish himself as a key member of Sir Alex Ferguson’s squad, with his direct running, fiery pace and clever movement in attack.

He made such an impact for the Red Devils in his debut season that he managed to make the PFA Premier League Team of the Year. However, a devastating injury to his ankle saw Valencia miss large parts of his second season at Manchester United.

But Valencia came back with a bang in the 2011/12 season, signing a new four-year contract with Manchester United and claiming a hat-trick of club awards as he was vote voted the Fans’ and Players’ Player of the Year, while also winning the club’s Goal of the Season award.

The next turning point of his Manchester United career came under Louis van Gaal, as the recently retired Dutch manager converted Valencia into a right-back, having previously been used as one by Sir Alex Ferguson on numerous occasions.

Doubts were brought up when Jose Mourinho signed on as the Manchester United manager at the start of this season, with skeptics claiming that Valencia would soon be on his way out the exit door at Old Trafford with only twelve months left on his contract.

However, Valencia has established himself as a regular in the Portuguese manager’s first team setup, managing to appear in 23 games in all competitions already, a figure exceeded only by Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The Ecuadorian has now impressed his boss so much that he has been rewarded with a one-year contract extension. The latest extension is similar to the one that Manchester United rewarded Marouane Fellaini with, with the Belgian midfielder extending his stay at Old Trafford last week.

Having already appeared in 271 matches and scored 21 goals for Manchester United in more than seven seasons at the club, Valencia would be hoping to get closer to winning his seventh trophy with the Red Devils when his side takes on Hull City in the EFL Cup semi-final second leg next week.

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