Ashley Young has lauded the efforts of Antonio Valencia, with the winger saying his Manchester United teammate is a role model both on and off the field.

Valencia has often been the man Sir Alex Ferguson has called on to change the game when the Red Devils are facing a crisis, and on many occasions the 27 year old has exceeded expectations.

And Young, who has been at the club for more than a season now after his move from Aston Villa last summer, says that Valencia is a player whom the rest of the United squad look up to, for many reasons.

"Last season he had everything," he told the United website. "He attacks, he defends, he can shoot, he can cross, he can pass.

"He has it all and that's why he scooped up everything at the end-of-season awards. It's why the players voted for him and it's why the fans voted for him.

"He's fantastic to play with. Antonio, like every other player, knows how to look after himself as well - he knows what to eat, what to drink and he works closely with our fitness coaches."

Antonio Valencia
Antonio Valencia is an important member of the Manchester United squad, according to Ashley Young. Reuters

Valencia has so far made three appearances for United this season, and though he is yet to score, he has been integral as the side came back from behind twice to beat Fulham and Southampton.

The side will need to improve on their performances if they hope to challenge for domestic and European trophies this season though, with the English giants looking particularly weak in defence as they suffer from injury problems with the likes of Rio Ferdinand, Jonny Evans and Phil Jones all out of action.

But for now, Ferguson can be happy with Valencia's performances at least, with the manager saying: "Antonio is always very professional and a great human being. I'm very happy with him.

"He's one of those players who is constantly maturing. Without doubt, his best position is wide right - he's fantastic there."

Valencia will particularly be able to give handy advice to new young signings Nick Powell, Shinji Kagawa and Angelo Henriquez, who are still finding their feet at Old Trafford and will be heeding the words of the more senior and experienced players.