Speaking at his pre-match press conference on Friday, Mourinho was keen to praise the form of Ecuador international Valencia, who has fended off competition from Matteo Darmian to establish himself as the manager’s go-to right-back.
Valencia, a natural winger that has been converted into an attacking right-back at Old Trafford, signed a new one-year contract extension this week that will keep the 31-year-old tied down until the end of the 2017/18 season, and Mourinho went as far as to claim that there is not another right-back in world football playing better than him.
“I don’t see it as a reward,” Mourinho said of Valencia’s contract extension. “He is simply the best right-back you can have, there is no better right-back in football .
“It isn’t a reward for him, it is a privilege for us to be able to keep such a good player and man.”
Mourinho also confirmed that Memphis Depay had left the club after a deal was agreed with Ligue 1 side Lyon, who confirmed the deal on their club website while the Portuguese was holding his press conference ahead of this weekend’s Premier League clash with Stoke City.
More to follow...