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"Antonio has everything – very good pace, he crosses a good ball and he is a very intelligent player. He can also play inside or off the two strikers as well as playing out wide. He is a bright footballing man and he picks things up quickly."

- Chris Hutchings

30/06/2009 09:16, Report by Steve Bartram
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Valencia tipped for the top

Former Wigan Athletic manager Chris Hutchings believes Antonio Valencia has the credentials to slot seamlessly into United's first team.

The British tabloids are convinced the Ecuadorian winger will leave the Latics and join Sir Alex Ferguson's side in the near future, becoming the club's first signing since the departure of Cristiano Ronaldo.

While the Portuguese winger's massive contribution will inevitably be missed, Hutchings is convinced that Valencia is good enough to make the grade at Old Trafford.

Hutchings told the Wigan Evening Post: "I have always believed Antonio could quite comfortably slot into one of the top teams in the world, and go on to perform at the very highest level.

"He has got everything – very good pace, he crosses a good ball and he is a very intelligent player. He can also play inside or off the two strikers as well as playing out wide. We could see the potential then and he has gone on to play exceptionally well for Wigan.

"That has led to interest from clubs like Manchester United and Real Madrid – which shows exactly what a gem Valencia turned out to be."

Should he validate the tabloids' soothsaying and complete the short move to Manchester, Valencia will quickly assimilate to life on and off the pitch in M16, according to Hutchings.

"Antonio is a bright footballing man and he picks things up very quickly," he said. "He understands the game and other players can see what a good player he is. His attitude at all times is also excellent.

"He works very hard and he is a top professional who was very popular in the dressing room during my time at Latics and will join in with everything.

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