Having refused to play in an Under-21 match last season, Louis van Gaal insists there is only one way for Victor Valdes to head.
Manchester United offered the former Barcelona ace the chance to recuperate from a serious knee injury at the club last season, having been released by the Catalan giants at the end of his contract. When the goalkeeper proved his fitness, he was then given an 18-month contract and was challenged to fight David de Gea for a first team spot.
That the younger man was in the form of his life meant Valdes had to wait until May to make his debut, when he replaced his injured compatriot towards the end of a 1-1 draw with Arsenal. The following week, the final weekend of the Premier League season, he again kept goal as the Reds were held to a goalless draw at Hull City.
With de Gea tipped to join Real Madrid, it appeared as though Valdes could be given a chance of establishing himself in the first team. But the 33-year-old did not travel with the squad on their pre-season tour of America, and van Gaal has now revealed the Spaniard has no future at the club after refusing to play an Under-21 game last term.
“He is not selected because he doesn’t follow our philosophy and there is no place for that one player,” van Gaal said. “Philosophy is how you play football and how you maintain your match rhythm. For example, he refused last year to play in the second team. That is one aspect of our philosophy… but there are a lot of other aspects.
“When you are not willing to follow the principles of the philosophy, then there is only one way and that is out. It is a big disappointment. It is a pity because we have given him the opportunity to rehabilitate, and gave him a contract. If you do not play in the first team, our philosophy is to play in the second team and he did not do that.”
Valdes, meanwhile, appears baffled at van Gaal’s comments. He took to his official twitter account to post a graphic of three matches he played for the Under-21 side, against Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham, together with a question mark and #Respect. This, though, will likely only serve to accelerate his departure from the club.