MANCHESTER, England (AP) – Ecuador winger Antonio Valencia has signed a new four-year contract with Manchester United ahead of the new season.
The 25-year-old Valencia has scored 10 times in 69 appearances since joining from Wigan in 2009 and won the Premier League for the first time in May.
''Antonio has made a fantastic contribution since his arrival,'' United manager Alex Ferguson said Monday. ''His speed, crossing ability and versatility have been a big asset for us.
Valencia's progress last season was stalled by an ankle injury that sidelined him for six months, but he returned to play a key role in United's progress to the Champions League final and was in the team that lost to Barcelona.
''He has a quiet, unassuming way of going about his business, which is underlined by great strength of character - as his recovery from such a bad injury last season proves,'' Ferguson said.
Now Valencia has further competition for a place in the team from Ashley Young, who has moved to Old Trafford from Aston Villa.
''I am delighted to stay at United,'' said Valencia, who had two seasons remaining on his contract. ''Since my first day at Carrington (United's training complex), I have been happy here. I hope that I can continue to develop as a player.
''I am looking forward to making my contribution to helping this squad compete for more trophies.''