Date: 17th October 2009 at 6:21pm
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Finally, Antonio Valencia came out of his shell and produced the kind of display which convinced Fergie to pay 15.25m for him. The Ecuadorian winger made a slow start to the season, usually seeming content to simply keep the ball and pass it to the nearest teammate but he finally shouldered some responsibility today.

He, along with Ryan Giggs, was United’s best player in the 2-1 win over Bolton and his excellent goal in the first half set him up for a great second half showing where he really should have scored again and could have claimed a few assists as well with a bit of luck.

It wasn’t a perfect performance, obviously – his reluctance to use his left foot is very, very annoying and what’s worse, makes him predictable, it’s enough to show him on to his weaker foot and he will simply pass the ball back to the full back or the nearest central midfielder. But finally he performed like a man who is serious about becoming a key player at one of the top sides in Europe. With the Liverpool game looming, it was the best possible time for him to come out of his shell. Hopefully he won’t withdraw there again.