Former Aston Villa winger-come-wing-back Ashley Young has been named in the official FIFA Team of the Tournament for the 2018 World Cup.
After a tournament that re-ignited England’s love for International football, both Young and Tripper have been named in the best eleven, joined by the likes of Rafael Varane, Luka Modric, Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
As the oldest member of the youngest squad at the tournament, turning 33-years-old before returning to English soil after the three lion’s 2-1 semi-final defeat to Croatia – Young looked a real leader on the pitch and complimented the leadership provided by team mates Jordan Henderson and Harry Kane perfectly.
In the last decade or so, there have been a number of poor transfer decisions by Aston Villa, who have been ‘forced’ or have ‘decided’ to sell on their best assets year after year, supplying the upper echelons of the Premier League with quality talent.
A number of them have gone on to achieve nothing, ruing the day they left Villa Park – but some have gone on to achieve wonders. Marc Albrighton now holds a Premier League Winners medal, Gareth Barry broke the record for the most amount of Premier League games, and now Ashley Young has been named in a major tournament’s best eleven for playing in a more defensive position.
Granted, he wasn’t the finished article when he left Aston Villa – but he was a damn good player. Manchester United utilised him the same way as Aston Villa did for a long time – until the tactical nous of the Premier League changed and wing-backs became all the fashion – and he’s been successfully turning out for United regularly in that role.
It’s nice to see a player that we had a hand in developing do well, especially towards the twilight of his career – but it could have been much nicer.