Manchester United goalkeeper Victor Valdes has been named as part of the team’s final Premier League squad for the remainder of the 2015/16 season. This comes as an unexpected but pleasant surprise for Manchester United as fans, as Victor Valdes was thought to have been frozen out of the squad due to manager Louis van Gaal’s claim that he refused to play with the under-21 side and his subsequent omission from the pre-season tour of the US. Valdes has yet to play a game for the Red Devils this season but it looks unlikely that he’ll receive much game time, as summer signing Sergio Romero has had a good start to season, despite the match against Swansea.United will also be looking to give David De Gea a chance to reclaim the no.1 goalkeeper spot after his transfer to Real Madrid collapsed.

In the summer Valdes was ostracised from the United squad and since then he has spent his time training and eating away from the first team. It was believed that Valdes was on his way out of the club as he was reportedly discussing terms with Turkish club Besiktas, however personal terms couldn’t be agreed and the deal fell through. It will be interesting to see how Valdes’ skills are utilised throughout the season after falling out with van Gaal. Louis van Gaal was the manager at Barcelona when Victor Valdes first received a call up to the team and during their time there, they also fell out over preferences of playing in the first team squad as opposed to the reserves.

Valdes has not been included in Manchester United’s UEFA Champions League squad, which indicates that he hasn’t fully redeemed himself in van Gaal’s eyes.

Due to the tedious nature of the Premier League and the likelihood of injuries being sustained, it makes more sense to have Victor Valdes in the team in the case that De Gea and Romero are injured, as Sam Johnstone is too inexperienced to be trusted at such a high level. Since the Champions League doesn’t have as many matches and isn’t played as frequently, Valdes omission is understandable.

It’s possible that Valdes inclusion could have another effect on the team, earlier this summer Pedro who was a transfer target of Manchester Unitedsnubbed the club in order to join Chelsea and revealed that he didn’t like van Gaal’s treatment of his compatriot. If Manchester United are to secure more signings under van Gaal, then the club must show that they’re willing to give all players a fair chance regardless of arguments.

Whatever differences remain between Valdes and van Gaal, it can be agreed that the manager’s apparent forgiveness of the Spanish stopper is good news for the team going forward.