Valencia backs Reds to improve
Former Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia believes it is only a matter of time before the current team gels under Erik ten Hag's expert management.
The Reds are adopting a fresh approach after the summer moves in the transfer market as the boss looks to build on a very promising first season in charge.
It was a mixed start to 2023/24 before the international break, with wins against Wolverhampton Wanderers and Nottingham Forest but losses to north London pair Tottenham and Arsenal.
With much-respected Brighton & Hove Albion next up, at Old Trafford this Saturday, the Ecuadorian is sure that United will soon start climbing the table and putting some pressure on the early leaders in the Premier League.
“Well, the league just started," Valencia told our Spanish-language website in an exclusive interview. "We’re only four games in.
"So the new players that just arrived are getting adapted and acclimated to a new system. Sometimes, that can be complicated. For some players, it’s harder, but I hope they can get adapted as soon as possible for the good of the team.
"There are many competitions, but I’m convinced that the team will respond well because we have a lot of great players. They’ve already shown that in the past. So I don’t think there will be any problems. Hopefully, we can win the Premier League this year and I hope we don’t lose too much ground on Manchester City or any of the other clubs at the top of the table.
"We have play as equals against everybody and try to gain an advantage."
United are back in the UEFA Champions League, of course, and kick off our European campaign with a tough test next week away to Bayern Munich. Ten Hag's men are in Group A, with Galatasaray and FC Copenhagen our other competitors, and Valencia feels it is imperative for the Reds to reach the knockout stages.
"Well, this is a team that always should be playing the Champions League because it’s a big club with history," he said. "Manchester [United] have won this tournament many times.
"So it’s a team that has to compete against the best. We have a difficult group, but we know that team has to prepare well, concentrate for these games and advance from the group stage. I think that has to be the goal."