Victor Valdes has joined Belgian side Standard Liege on loan from Manchester United until the end of the season.
News of the transfer's finalisation came via the Premier League club's website on Sunday, with Valdes' departure from Old Trafford inevitable for a long time.
He posted the following message on his Twitter feed prior to the deal being confirmed:
Victor Valdes @1victorvaldes
#gracias @ManUtd Family ! https://t.co/Rshsg1f51T2016-1-21 10:31:53
Here’s a reminder of what the goalkeeper is capable of at his very best:
The former Barcelona man had been marginalised by United manager Louis van Gaal during the 2015-16 season.
As Daniel Taylor of the Guardian reported earlier in the season, Valdes didn't even have a locker at the Carrington training complex and was forced to train alone when no other first-team players were on site. His isolation was prompted after the Dutch coach accused Valdes of refusing to play in a reserve-team game.
“He refused last year to play in the second team,” said Red Devils boss Van Gaal during pre-season, per Chris Davie of Goal. “There are a lot of other aspects in the philosophy how you have to play like a goalkeeper at Manchester United. When you are not willing [to apply] the principles of that philosophy there is only one way, and that is out.”
Sergio Romero's signing was the final nail in the coffin for Valdes at Old Trafford, with the Argentina international having started four Premier League games since joining and being the go-to substitute 'keeper.
In terms of goalkeeping ability, Valdes is a class acquisition for Liege. He was an extremely consistent operator between the sticks during his spell in La Liga, per WhoScored.com:
Víctor Valdés: Kept at least 2 more clean sheets (17) than any other GK in the 2011/12 La Liga season #TBT http://t.co/9SJd6u0u422015-7-16 13:01:50
Although the circumstances surrounding Valdes' departure have been far from ideal, a move away from Old Trafford is exactly what the goalkeeper needs.
After all, the 34-year-old hasn’t had much first-team football since leaving Barcelona, as the Spain international was still dealing with the after-effects of the anterior cruciate ligament injury he suffered in 2014.
Liege will be able to give Valdes the requisite reassurances needed when it comes to playing time. While he’s left United in sour circumstances, some regular football in the Belgian Pro League will give the stopper a chance to show he’s still one of the finest goalkeepers around.