Manchester United goalkeeper Victor Valdes has claimed he has moved on loan to Standard Liege "for obvious reasons" after falling out of favour with manager Louis van Gaal at Old Trafford. The Barcelona legend is looking forward to his new spell at the Belgium side, hoping to secure regular playing time to help them to achieve their targets in the second part of the current campaign.
Valdes moved to Old Trafford during the last January transfer window to back up David de Gea, but was frozen out by the Dutch boss since the summer following his alleged refusal to play with the U21 side. United confirmed over the weekend that the 34-year-old keeper is to spent the rest of the season on loan to Standard Liege after the clubs reached a loan agreement.
"I played many years in Barcelona, during a time of great success for the club. Then I looked for a different spell outside my country. I went to Manchester United and now, for obvious reasons, I have the opportunity to be here at Standard," Valdes explained to the Standard website in his first interview since being loaned out by Old Trafford. "It is going to be a short spell because it is a loan, but I hope to get many victories and help the team in any way I can," he told the club's official media.
"Today was a special day. I did the medical test with the doctors, I met my new teammates, the manager... I am very happy for the good feelings with everyone. They have welcomed me very well. It is easy to adapt to an unknown club for me, with very young people, and surely we will help each other."
Standard Liege star Mathieu Dossevi recently questioned the arrival of the Spaniard, claiming that the club already had a fantastic number one in Guillaume Hubert. But Valdes hopes to enjoy a good relationship with his new teammates and secure the playing time he couldn't find at Old Trafford.
"Goalkeepers compete between each other but we are like a family and also help each other," he said. "I've been some time without playing and that is what I need right now, what I expect and what excited me the most [about this spell at Standard]. I will try to bring my experience to help them giving my them by best. I am here to help the team and my teammates. The first target is to reach the top six to play the play-off and to win the Cup"
Having won won six La Liga titles, three Champions League crowns and two Copa del Reys during his 12 years at Barcelona , the move to the eight-place of the Belgium league may look like a step back in his career.
But Valdes said: "Standard are a historic club in Belgium, they are one of the biggest clubs in the country and the important thing now is to lift them it as high as possible, trying to get them back to the top three of the Belgian League. They deserve to be there because of their fans and their history."
"I was surprised about the good atmosphere in the stadium when I came here [to play Champions League] with Barcelona [to play Champions]. Standard have an exemplary supports in may senses. From the first minute to the last one they were cheering. That is very helpful for the players.