According to ESPN, Manchester United captain Ashley Young is set to leave Old Trafford in the summer after 9 years with the club.
Young’s contract with the club expires at the end of the ongoing season and he is ready to talk to other clubs in January, according to the report. He was made the captain of the team by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after Antonio Valencia departed last summer.
Young came through the ranks of Watford’s youth system and joined Aston Villa in 2007. He then made a switch to Manchester United in 2011. He has been a mainstay in United’s squad since arriving.
In his 8 seasons at Old Trafford, Young has made over 250 appearances for the Red Devils. And in the process, he has won all the English domestic titles in his career.
The 34-year-old started as a winger and then shifted to the defence in the latter stages of his United career. He featured in 30 Premier League games in each of his last two seasons but this term, it has been different.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been the first-choice at right-back. Luke Shaw has been preferred ahead of Young at left-back and the emergence of Brandon Williams from the academy has put his first-team spot in jeopardy.
Solskjaer has been continuously using younger players for the majority of the season and it is clear that the £120,000-a-week star would likely remain on the bench if he continues at United.
Therefore, it would be good for him to move to other teams in England’s top-flight to get playing time before he hangs up his boots. He is in the twilight of his career and it is not advisable for him to continue at United given his age (34).
Let’s take a look at 3 Premier League teams who must sign the veteran in summer.
Graham Potter has only two proper left-backs available at his disposal in the likes of Brazilian Bernardo and Cameroon international Gaetan Bong. Bernado has featured in just 2 games so far but seems likely to take over from Bong, whose contract also expires in the summer.
In that case, Young can be used as a back-up if he cannot be accommodated in the starting XI. The former Watford man has got enough experience under his belt and has also played 11 times this season. He would be a better acquisition for the Seagulls on a free transfer.
Young is capable of playing decently on either wing and this must be a positive for Nigel Pearson to go for the club’s former academy prospect. Left-backs Adam Masina and Jose Holebas have been out of the squad for a long time due to injuries.
Right-back Daryl Janmaat’s knee injury has worsened the Hornets’ situation as they find themselves at the bottom of the table.
Therefore, Young’s return to his boyhood club in the summer would be a boost for the manager, who would be hoping to perform well right from the start of next season.
Before moving to Manchester, Young was a key player for the Villans and was at the peak of his career during his time at Villa Park. He made 190 appearances for them and knows the club very well.
Young’s experience would be valuable for the team and he can also lead them for some time as he has done a decent job leading United’s youngsters this term. Therefore, it would be good if Dean Smith lures him to Villa Park.
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