Ashley Young has been linked with an emotional return to Aston Villa – 10 years after he left to join Manchester United.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Ashley Young has been linked with a sensational return to Villa Park, a decade after leaving to join Manchester United.
Now 35, the former winger and now wingback will be allowed to leave Inter Milan this summer as the Serie A winners look to trim their wage bill amidst financial worries.
Young, who played for Aston Villa for four years between 2007 and 2011 has also attracted interest from his former club Watford, while Burnley are also interested in his signature.
While the former Aston Villa star doesn’t fit in Aston Villa’s transfer policy, in which they tend to avoid players under the age of 28 and look for players with potential to sell on for large amounts of profit for the future, Young’s potential arrival does make sense.
This summer, Dean Smith’s side have lost three experienced players from the dressing room in the form of Tom Heaton, Ahmed Elmohamady and Neil Taylor, and bringing in Young – who can provide some cover on either side of the pitch for Targett or Cash – makes sense.
His arrival would mean Aston Villa can use their significant funds elsewhere rather than signing a back-up for Targett, while Young is still a strong athlete and could likely hold his own in the Premier League despite his seniority.
Ashley Young appeared 39 times for Inter Milan last season, helping them towards a historic Scudetto and becoming the third Englishman to win Italy’s top-flight title – and would bring with him nearly 14 years of Premier League experience from his time across three different clubs.
Dean Smith is keen to bring in players who know and understand the British game first-and-foremost, with the club’s necessary foreign bargain-hunting in Aston Villa’s first season almost backfiring as the club survived on the final day of the season.
Last season, the club’s targets all had experience at varying levels of the English game, and that has continued this season with the record-breaking signing of Emi Buendia.
Young made just short of 160 appearances of Aston Villa, scoring 30 goals and impressing enough that Manchester United signed him for £17,000,000.
For a relatively small outlay, Young’s return would be a shrewd, short-time signing as Aston Villa look to improve on their mid-table finish last season.