Ashley Young Returns to Villa
Aston Villa have completed the signing of Ashley Young, who returns to Villa on a free transfer after leaving the club a decade ago.
Villa are thought to have beaten off the interest of both Burnley and Watford
Young first joined Villa in 2007 for a sum that rose to just under £10m after add-ons, where he enjoyed a successful spell, breaking into the England team and winning the admiration of Sir Alex Ferguson, who signed him for a reported £17m.
There’s no doubt Young was one of Villa’s best players in the last couple of decades, so it’ll be a welcome move for Villa supporters, despite the fact he’ll be 36-years-old by the time the season kicks off.
Young recently won the title with Inter Milan with 34 appearances (26 league starts) suggesting he still has a lot to offer Villa. A good sign is Inter were more than happy to have his services for another season, but the player wished to return to the UK for family reasons.
It is expected that Young will be a handy short-term fix for a number of positions for Villa. Firstly, with Trezeguet out for at least the opening few months of the season, he’ll have the potential to play on the wing for Villa. Despite his transition to a full-back at United, he played all but one game last season on the wing or at wing-back for Inter.
He’ll also no doubt potentially be a back-up to both Matt Targett and Matty Cash at full-back too, if needed.
With the Euros stretched over a month, it’s perhaps not the easiest market to traverse in terms of getting bodies in a timely fashion, so Young could be a shrewd utility player buy, when you consider his set piece delivery, on top of his vast top level winning experience.
The Euros have offered up several examples of players still going strong at 35-years and over, so there should be no concerns with his fitness and ability.
When you look at Young’s recent league appearance record, he’s actually been playing more recently than when at his supposed peak at United. Over his first full eight seasons at Old Trafford he averaged 22.5 league games. During his last four seasons of football at both United and Inter, he’s averaged 29 league games a season.
A potentially decent move for Villa that adds extra intrigue to next season.