Gary Neville has admitted that he misjudged Antonio Valencia’s longevity or lack thereof, in the right-back position.
The Ecuadorian star has made the role his own in recent seasons after initially deputizing on what was thought to be a temporary basis.
Valencia scored United’s opener with a stunning strike in the resounding 4-0 win over Everton in the Premier League.
Meanwhile, Neville admitted that he believed Valencia would only be a temporary solution at right-back for the Red Devils.
But with the Ecuadorian now establishing himself in his new role, Neville has been forced to reassess his stance.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville said: “He’s been absolutely outstanding for the last 18 months to two years.
“I had doubts about whether it could last for the long-term – I thought it was more of a stop-gap until they signed a right back.
“But he’s the real thing. He’s a top right-back now. He’s strong, quick and supports the attack. He doesn’t make any mistakes.
“United don’t need to sign a right-back now. Valencia is head and shoulders above Matteo Darmian now. He’s been absolutely fantastic.”
Manchester United return to action on Wednesday night when they take on Burton at Old Trafford in the League Cup third round.
The Red Devils will then head down to the south coast to take on Southampton at St Mary’s on Saturday as they look to continue their fine start to the new Premier League season.
Manchester United are currently joint top of the table alongside local rivals Manchester City.