Connect in the back of the net

Former Barcelona and Manchester United goalkeeper Victor Valdes has completed a switch to Premier League newcomers Middlesbrough, as revealed during an interview by head coach Aitor Karanka.

The move is as unprecedented as it is unlikely given the rarity in which big name signings join newly promoted Premier League sides.

After a seven year hiatus, Middlesbrough finally attained promotion back into the top tier of English football after finishing second to Burnley in the Championship log.


Little introduction

Valdes is certainly a name that needs little or no introduction. Born Victor Valdes Arribas on 14th January 1982 in Spain, he spent most of his youthful days in Barcelona: although with a slight spell in Tenerife.

Between 1995 and 2002, he worked his way through the La Masia ranks before eventually earning his debut with the senior team under the stewardship of the then manager Louis van Gaal.

Valdes went on to spend the next twelve years at Barcelona, becoming one of the most decorated shot stoppers of all time.

From the Champions League to the FIFA World Cup and even the European Championship, Valdes has won it all.

When his time at Cataluña finally came to an end, Victor Valdes was in 2015 reunited at Manchester United with his former boss Louis van Gaal.

Although chances at the starting berth were few and far between- given David De Gea’s dominance at the role- Valdes was released by the club at the end of the 2015/16 season after a brief loan spell with Standard Liege in the Belgian Pro League.


A beneficial signing

With over a century of appearances in the Champions League, 106 to be exact, Middlesbrough will without question benefit from the services of the veteran not just between the sticks but also in the backroom.

Middlesbrough are seemingly making the most of their promotion as the 34-year old becomes Boro’s fifth signing of the summer: following the acquisition of Viktor Fischer from Ajax, Bernardo Espinosa from Sporting Gijon, Marten de Roon from Atalanta and Jordan McGhee on loan from Heart of Midlothian F.C in the Scottish League.

The deal will see Valdes become Boro’s first choice goalkeeper for the next two years, and could quite rightly be the first of many big name signings given their wholesome £170 million reward after attaining qualification into top flight English football.


Written by Brian Humphrey

Follow Brian on Twitter @brihum

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