United have announced the signing of ex-Barcelona goalkeeper Victor Valdes on an eighteen month contract with an option for a further years extension. Valdes has been training with the club since October as he attempted to regain fitness after a prolonged absence from football due to injury. Valdes was a free agent having been released by the Catalans, his only previous club.

This is an interesting signing which suggests that Anders Lindegaard future at the club may be limited. Lindegaard was previously considered United’s second choice goalkeeper, but is at a stage where he needs first team football to progress and he is likely to push for a transfer in the summer. In view of this the signing of Valdes seems a smart move. Valdes has won everything in the game and at 32, a relatively young age for a keeper it would appear that he rather than Lindegaard would now be the one keeping David de Gea on his toes.

In the short term it is difficult to see Valdes taking de Gea’s place in the side with the current number 1 being in the sort of form which has seen many laud him as one of the best, if not the best keeper in the World this season. Valdes is an excellent back-up keeper however and with speculation rife that Real Madrid may soon chase the signature of de Gea Valdes acquisition represents not only insurance against an injury to de Gea but also a potential insurance against his more permanent loss.

Valdes in action against United in the 2011 Champions League final

Valdes in action against United in the 2011 Champions League final

Valdes played 535 first team games for Barcelona and helped the Catalan club beat United in the 2009 and 2011 Champions League finals. He also won the trophy in 2006. In his time at Barcelona Valdes won six La Liga titles.

It is understood that in rebuilding the squad van Gaal has stated that he wants two top class players for each position. By signing Valdes van Gaal has certainly achieved that aim between the posts.

Victor Valdes, welcome to Old Trafford.