By Mark Weasley
There is no doubt that Ashley Young played the best football of his career at Aston Villa. Deadly, fast and extraordinarily brilliant, the tricky winger terrorised defences during his time at Villa Park and was subsequently bought by Manchester United in 2011 for a fee rumoured to be in the range of £17m.
The England international shone in his first couple of seasons, but injuries and versatility hampered his progress at The Theatre of Dreams. Young, 31 has played just nine times for the 20-time English champions this term and counts the likes of Jesse Lingard, Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan are all above him in the pecking order.
Mourinho is not open to letting him go midway into the season, as he may count his experience and positional variability key if United are to be successful this term. Under Louis van Gaal last season, Young enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance and was crucial in The FA Cup triumph of the club, making twenty six appearances in all competitions. Young used to be a left winger with a deadly turn of pace, but injuries have taken a toll on his pace and is no longer comfortable in one on one situations with opposition players.
Last season, due to an injury crisis, he was deployed at left back, where he performed admirably and won over critics with his commitment and determination.
Young, 31 has been criticized for his apparent love of simulation, which has earned him a notorious reputation and has been targeted by referees who feel any fall by him is an act of diving. He is rumoured to be wanted by clubs such as Crystal Palace and former club, Watford, it is unclear whether he would be willing to leave such a big club and wallow in relegation or mid-table mediocrity.
Arsenal fans will never forget him, as his two goals against them in 2011 signalled start of a humiliating 8-2 defeat away at Old Trafford, which was perhaps his best ever game in a United shirt.