Manchester United's Antonio Valencia
Queens Park Rangers' Alejandro Faurlin (R) challenges Manchester United's Antonio Valencia during their English Premier League soccer match at Loftus Road in London December 18, 2011. REUTERS

BBC football pundit Garth Crooks believes Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia is a better team player than Old Trafford legend Cristiano Ronaldo.

Ronaldo is widely regarded as one of the greatest players in Manchester United's rich history and remains the most expensive player of all time.

Despite the aforementioned Portuguese ace's obvious pedigree and remarkable contribution to Manchester United during his trophy laden six-year career at Old Trafford, Crooks believes Valencia has been a revelation for Sir Alex Ferguson's side.

The Ecuadorian was instrumental in Manchester United's tempestuous victory over Liverpool on Saturday, providing his ninth assist, and third for Wayne Rooney, of the season. Crooks suggests the player has improved immeasurably since moving to Old Trafford and although different to Ronaldo, the Football Focus pundit suggests the current Real Madrid talisman's replacement is equally effective.

"What a contribution the South American [Antonio Valencia] has made to Manchester United this season." Crooks told the BBC.

"He's unrecognisable from the Wigan player he was a few years ago.

"He doesn't score the goals Cristiano Ronaldo used to, but I'm convinced he's a better team player and far less aggravation."

In June 2009, Valencia signed for Manchester United for a rumoured £16 million, the same month Real Madrid paid the Red Devils £80 million to lure Ronaldo to the Bernabeu.