Louis Van Gaal has continued to build his hard-nosed reputation by leaving Victor Valdes out of Manchester United’s Pre-Season tour and putting him on the transfer list.
He is quoted as saying “Valdes is not selected [for the tour] because he doesn’t follow my philosophy; when that is the case, there is not a place for a player. It is about match rhythm.”
He added “Last season, he refused to play in the second team and there are other aspects you need as a keeper at United. When you are not willing to follow those principles, there is only one way and that is out. It is a big disappointment; we thought that he would follow our philosophy. It is a pity because we have given him the opportunity to rehabilitate, gave him a contract and then he is fit to play. If you do not play in the first team, our philosophy is to play in the second team and he did not do that.”
You could argue Van Gaal has a point, you could also argue that 6 league titles, 3 Champions League winners medals, a World Cup and European Championship winners medal earns you more than the 2nd team. David De Gea’s future remains uncertain and United fans have cause to be concerned as there world class back-up goalkeeper is being shown the exit when they could be crying out for a keeper of his standard by September 1st.
Valdes former club Barcelona have a similar selection headache with his replacements Claudio Bravo and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, there solution is to play Bravo in League games and Ter Stegen in all cup games.
Barcelona regained the La Liga title, Copa Del Rey and lifted the Champions League trophy for a 5th time last season. The top clubs in Europe have evolved with the times, and realise that competiveness in goal is dependent on the level your keepers play at. The 2nd team for goalkeepers may keep their fitness up or give experience to younger keepers but it won’t do much for someone of Valdes’ experience.
Early rumours have linked him with a return to Spain in a possible loan move to Valencia, if he leaves the Premier League it will be a shame but hardly a surprise considering his experience in Manchester.
United are reportedly keen on Ajax Goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen, who played under Van Gaals National Team at the European Cup. The same European Cup Cillessen was controversially replaced by Tim Krul several times for penalty shoot-outs; so he is familiar and presumably more agreeable than Valdes with Van Gaals brand of man-management. However I’m not sure how well the Old Trafford faithful will take to him as a replacement if they lose De Gea and Valdes in one window.