If anyone can understand the agony that Antonio Valencia has been going through since suffering that horrific injury against Glasgow Rangers last week it has to be Newcastle United midfielder Alan Smith who went through the same experience while playing for Manchester United against Liverpool at Anfield. That was nearly four years ago and Smith concedes that he has not been the same player since. He has now expressed fears that Valencia may never be able to perform at the top level again.
With the chances of Manchester United making a big name signing this summer receding faster than England’s chances of ever winning another World Cup, attention should turn to some of the outstanding young talent on display in South Africa. A handful of good performances in the tournament will obviously not guarantee long term success at Old Trafford but just like new signing Javier Hernandez made a huge impression for Mexico, there are others who have shown the sort of potential that Sir Alex Ferguson may be searching for. These are just three of them.