So here we are, Ashley Young signs for Manchester United on Thursday, although for all football fans who take a big interest in their club, this deal has been done for a long long time. In April i wrote a post about Nani and looked into how the rest of his season would work out for him, and it basically worked out like i thought it would. He failed to make any real impact towards the end of the season, as Ji Sung Park made the left side of midfield his own for big games, including the Champions League Final, and also Ryan Giggs continuing to amaze people with great displays. I also tipped Young to join us back then, and welcomed the deal.
You never really got the feeling Nani would start the final in London, you knew his work ethic was not good enough, and would leave Dani Alves and Lionel Messi to run riot up the right hand side of the field, even without Nani in the team, they did it anyway and showed up some of the obvious weaknesses in Patrice Evra's game. So this leads to me to a couple of questions about this Ashley Young signing.
Why exactly would Sir Alex go out and buy a player, who don't get me wrong is a very very good player, but essentially very similar to Nani? Young has more weaknesses than you may think. Like Nani, Young's work rate defensively is not anything special, if anything its on a par with Nani's. He had less assists than Nani last season, also less goals, so again, why?
One solution i have came to is Young has been a big fish in a small pond at Villa, i'm not taking away from Villa here, they are a big club and have done a lot for him. They took a risk on him, bringing him from Watford and letting him grow into an England International and a valuable one at that. I feel he may have grown too comfortable at Aston Villa, grown comfortable with the fact they are not expected to win the league, or qualify for Europe every year. When lately he has been playing for England, he has shown glimpses of the talent many thought would lead him to be one of the best wingers in the world, but now he is 25, there is no more time for excuses, it is surely now time to show the goods. His peak should be in the next 3-4 years, and he wont have this pace forever. Also the fact that he is English may be a big factor in the signing, with Sir Alex showing with the signing of Phil Jones, he wishes to add some home grown talent to the squad.
Speaking to some Villa fans, they are sad over Young's departure, although not a lot have noticed too much, they seem to be too angry about McLeish taking charge rather than one of their best players being sold. They feel Young can be very frustrating, lacks some work ethic, but also has strokes of genius that will win you 3 points instead of one. Does this not sound familiar? Do we not have a certain player who matches that criteria already for the same position?
Either Nani is to leave, or Ferguson will have to find a way of keeping both happy, i can see an attempt to bed Young into the center of midfield, but i can see it failing too. Some are saying why not have used the money from the Jones and Young deals to bring in an attacking midfielder, i say that's stupid, we have bought a possible future England Captain in Jones, and as for Young, it remains to be seen but i feel we have bought a match winner. Iv no doubt United will go and sign a midfielder, who? I'm not sure, my personal preference would be Mezut Ozil, although the little German has declined to hold talks with United. Other than that i can see a bid for Sneijder coming, although i fear we may not be bringing the Dutch man to Old Trafford. Also can see a bid maybe for Stephen Defour, he signed a new contract recently but talks of Juventus making a move may just prompt Ferguson into a sneaky bid.
It remains to be seen how the Young signing will fair out, i hope and believe it will work, but also feel it may mean Nani will not be at Old Trafford for many more years to come.