• Transfers

Ex-Man United captain Antonio Valencia joins LDU Quito

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Former Manchester United captain Antonio Valencia has returned to his native Ecuador with Liga de Quito.

Following United’s decision to not trigger an extension clause he had on his expiring deal, Valencia left Old Trafford this summer.

The Ecuador international had been at United since 2009 and transformed from a winger to a full-back under the watchful eye of Sir Alex Fergusen.

But knee and calf injuries meant Valencia only made a total of nine appearances last season for the Red Devils. It marked a sad end to the 33-year-old’s time in Manchester given that he only replaced Michael Carrick as skipper last summer.

Now, Valencia has returned home to Ecuador to see out the remainder of his career at Liga de Quito. The move was announced on Friday, with the player agreeing to a two-year contract.

“One of the most celebrated players in Ecuadorian football history, Luis Antonio Valencia is a new Guerrero Albo,” read a club statement.

“The man who was captain of Manchester United at the start of the 2017-18 season and who said farewell with honours after a successful 10-year spell in the Premier League returns to Ecuadorian football as a living legend.

“He comes to Liga on a two-year-contract with an option for a further years, a great effort from the Alba directors with the invaluable support of our sponsors who made this dream of the Alba family come true.”

Valencia was last in action on Tuesday, where he made a seven-minute cameo in Ecuador’s 1-1 draw with Japan in the Group C finale in the Copa America.

Unfortunately, for the two-time Premier League winner, the result was not enough for the nation to progress to the quarter-finals after finishing bottom of the group table with just a single point to their name.

BELO HORIZONTE, BRAZIL – JUNE 16: Diego Laxalt of Uruguay fights for the ball with Antonio Valencia of Ecuador during the Copa America Brazil 2019 group C match between Uruguay and Ecuador at Mineirao Stadium on June 16, 2019 in Belo Horizonte, Brazil. (Photo by Juliana Flister/Getty Images)