Manchester United have rewarded loyal and experienced defender Ashley Young with a new contract. The 32-year old’s previous contract was to be expired at the end of this season. However, thanks to his extraordinary resurgence in these past few weeks, head coach Jose Mourinho decided to keep him at his disposal for longer than expected.
The Red Devils have taken up the option to extend his £130,000-a-week contract by another year. But is this a right move by the club?
After years of dissatisfaction, regarding lack of game-time, especially after the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, Ashley Young was almost a forgotten figure at Old Trafford. Prior to the start of this season, the Englishman had only featured in 30 games in the previous two seasons.
However, things have been a lot different this year. Usually known as a speedy winger, with an ability to play in midfield at times, Ashley Young was given a new role of a left back by Jose Mourinho.
Largely due to their injury crisis in the fullback department with players like Luke Shaw, Marcos Rojo, Matteo Darmian and Daley Blind constantly being on the end of frequent injuries, the former Real Madrid boss entrusted Young with the job of playing as the left back for United.
Months later, the 32-year-old can be deemed as a success in the left back spot. The former Aston Villa player often kept check of the opposition running from the wide spaces whilst also using his attacking influence to good effect. The fact that he’s an excellent crosser of the ball, particularly helps United in those wide spaces, with players like Romelu Lukaku, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, and Marouane Fellaini roaming inside the box.
Furthermore, Young also used his pace quite wisely, as it seemed very tough for the attackers to outrun him. His agility coupled with his determination have helped United become successful so far this season. Hardened by years of experience, Jose Mourinho will surely fancy opting Young as the permanent left back for United.
In fact, it’s safe to point out that Ashley Young has been no less than a lifesaver for Manchester United this season and the fact that the Red Devils rewarded him with a new contract comes as no surprise for the Englishman. Over the years, the 32-year old defender-cum midfielder has served United with pride and passion, and he will continue doing so for as long as he’s still donning the famous kit.