Ashley Young has performed week-in and week-out at Aston Villa over the last couple of seasons. Now that he’s been given a proper shot at International level, he’s beginning to prove his worth to England too. Young came on in last month’s England-Denmark clash at half-time, transformed the flow of the game and grabbed a winner for the Three Lions. He was fantastic against Wales on Saturday, winning a penalty and grabbing an assist for England’s second. Tuesday night’s Ghana friendly also saw Young shine – though he perhaps wasn’t quite as effective as he’d have like to have been.
Young took full advantage of the lack of England stars such as Wayne Rooney, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard to produce a scintillating display. He was always looking to get on the ball and when he did was always looking to make things happen. With Young driving forward, England always looked like a threat. For the purposes of my argument, however, let’s disregard his awful miss from three yards out after James Milner had put it on a plate for him.
It’s little wonder that so many top Premier League clubs are thought to be interested in acquiring his services. All Young needs to do now is ensure he makes the right decision – his future is at stake and so is his chance to create an impressive legacy. Ashley Young is a good footballer and with the right coach I’m sure he can get better and better. So where should Ashley Young go?
If I were Young I would be suspicious of joining Manchester City. I’d look at the way promising wingers such as Shaun Wright-Phillips have found their careers in tatters and the way that the club collects fringe players with some degree of trepidation. If Young is to make the most of his career he must move to a club who can provide him with the playing time he is accustomed to at Villa.
With that in mind, I’d rule out Chelsea and Arsenal. Arsenal already have an abundance of wingers (Tomas Rosicky, Theo Walcott, Samir Nasri, Andrey Arshavin and Carlos Vela) and won’t be looking for additions in this department over the summer. Meanwhile, Chelsea are hot on the heels of Brazilian wonder-kid Neymar (a player who will likely turn out to be much, much better than Young) and won’t want to splash out on two wingers in one summer
Manchester United have Antonio Valencia and Nani on either wing, with Ryan Giggs and Park Ji-Sung to fill in whenever necessary. I can’t help but wonder if Young has the mentality and the ability to break into the Manchester United first team just yet. He needs to establish himself as a player who can perform at the top-level with a club that is going to give him every opportunity to do so.
Which brings me to my two top candidates: Liverpool and Tottenham. Two clubs trying to establish themselves at the top of the Premier League and two clubs who could probably find a regular spot in their side for Ashley Young. Whilst I believe he’d settle well at either club, if he’s presented with the choice I hope he moves to Liverpool. With Suarez and Young on either wing, feeding Andy Carroll, Liverpool could easily force their way back into the top four next season.
Tottenham may be an attractive proposition but with Liverpool Young has the opportunity to be a part of an incredible attack at a club with the mentality it takes to win trophies.
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