There were so many cries of Victor Valdes being overrated during his Barcelona days that it got to the stage was the goalkeeper was hugely underrated.
Valdes provided a security for Barcelona and was yet another La Masia product, his presence in the team continually served to up the percentage of the club’s starting eleven who had come through the youth system.
The choice to leave was very much down to Valdes. He’d felt undervalued at Barcelona, financially too, and believed he deserved to go off somewhere else, sign as a free agent, and earn a huge wage.
A move to AS Monaco was arranged but unfortunately Valdes was injured before he finished his Barcelona career. Being without a club was difficult and then Valdes moved to Manchester United, initially under an invitation from Louis van Gaal to train.
The pair fell out, just as they had done at Barcelona, when Van Gaal expected Valdes to play repeatedly with the second string, returning from the long term knee injury. Valdes was happy to play once or twice, but not too keen on it being a regular thing.
Valdes then moved to Standard Liege on loan and it wasn’t a runaway success. Making his debut on January 30th, Valdes was injured less than 2 weeks later after suffering a hamstring problem.
Almost the exact same thing has happened at Middlesbrough. The Catalan press are obviously concerned and Valdes’ situation is covered in both Sport and Mundo Deportivo, and well as the wider Spanish media.
There just seems to be a continual gamble on Valdes’ fitness. It’s the fault of nobody but, because he simply hasn’t played enough games since recovering, Valdes is still returning from the knee injury and having all the associated problems that returning to weekly professional football brings.
Perhaps he should have been grasping at the opportunities to play with Manchester United’s second string, and get fully back.