By James Johnson.
With the rumours surrounding Ashley Young’s possible move to Manchester United, it seems as good a time as any to discuss the benefits of the potential transfer.
With only a year left on his contract at Aston Villa it’s believed that any transfer fee would be around the 10-12m mark, which fits well into any potential transfer budget and would surely fit Fergie’s requirements for ‘value in the market’.
Set pieces have been a continual source of frustration for United fans ever since David Beckham left for Real Madrid. Whilst Ronaldo scored a few free kicks in his time at the club, corners and free kicks from wide positions seemed to be attracted to the head of the first defender rather that any of the attacking group in the area. Young in his time at Villa has contributed an assist in every four games or so, mainly coming from set pieces, and with vastly inferior players than at United. By signing Young it is likely that United will have another string to their attacking bow with consistently accurate deliveries into the box.
Apart from Nani and possibly Ji Sung Park, no other midfielders have offered a consistent goal threat from midfield, having another option to start or bring on who can get a goal will take the pressure of the likes of Rooney and Hernandez to score the majority of goals. With Ryan Giggs now seemingly a central midfielder the options of the wing are not as strong as it first seems. Antonio Valencia is by recent selections first choice on the right wing, Nani plays his best football on the right hand side, and Park, whilst perfect for the bigger games as a defensive winger, he lacks the craft to open up teams whose aim it is to escape with a draw. Young even though he is right footed has played on the left wing for many years and is very comfortable there.
Young probably isn’t the glamorous big name that many people would want to see linked with the club, but he is a safe and talented option. The likes of Eden Hazard and Alexis Sanchez would without doubt be a massive sign on intent from the club, but there is firstly little to no chance of us winning a bidding war with the teams linked to those players, and secondly there is no guarantee that they will settle into English football. Young knows the league inside out and has been one of the better attacking players over the past two to three years, and will more than likely improve with the better players at Man United who he would be playing with.
For the prices being talked about, his versatility, his delivery from set pieces and his age and room to improve I am firmly of the belief that signing Young would be a very good move for the club.
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