The Athletic’s Gregg Evans has claimed that Steven Gerrard could be set to move Ashley Young into a much more attacking position.
However, with new manager Gerrard now in charge, the former Manchester United man may be pushed further up the field and challenge Emiliano Buendia for a place in the starting XI.
While speaking on the 1874 podcast, Evans explained that he had heard something in the week that could suggest as much.
He said: “This might take some people by surprise, but just some of the things I’ve been hearing this week: I actually think Ashley Young is going to benefit a lot from Steven Gerrard.
“I think he’s going to be somebody who they might use in an attacking-midfield position, almost as in a two behind the striker. I think we might start to see that a little bit.
“I think he’s now in direct competition with Buendia.”
TIF thoughts on Ashley Young and Aston Villa…
Of course, Young and Gerrard have played together in the past, as both men represented England under Roy Hodgson at Euro 2012. So the former Rangers boss may feel he already knows where his new player can best perform for him.
Should Ashley Young be used as an attacker for Aston Villa?
When the 36-year-old was signed in the summer on a one-year deal, The Athletic reported that Dean Smith had wanted the wing-back to provide defensive cover after full-backs Ahmed Elmohamady and Neil Taylor both departed.
Now Smith is out the door, Young could well be moved up the field. Perhaps Gerrard will hope to see the sort of attacking form that made the Englishman a star for Villa over a decade ago.
With 83 goals and 121 assists to his name across his career, there should be little doubting Young’s ability to get forward, even if he is in the twilight of his career now.
In other news: Kagey believes Aston Villa have made ‘promise’ to Gerrard