Ashley Young Signs for Manchester United: Initial Impressions

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Ashley Young has signed a five-year contract with Manchester United on a fee believed to be around £15m to Aston Villa.

I am sure that United fans everywhere are celebrating this development. The club has been tracking the pacey left winger for a while and I am glad that the club are finally signing him. This bodes well not just for United, but looks to benefit England as well. Together with Chris Smalling, Phil Jones and Danny Welbeck amongst others, manager Sir Alex Ferguson appears to be building his next team with a strong core of English players.

Does anyone remember the last time United had a pure left winger? When I first started watching football, Ryan Giggs had just taken over from Lee Sharpe on the left wing and since that time, I can only think of Jesper Blomqvuist. An argument can be made for Nani and Park but they are not left wing specialists. Young looks to be a worthy successor to the Giggs of old: He can tear apart defences with his dribbling, pace, ability to whip in dangerous crosses and score the odd goal. With Giggs still at the club, I’m sure he will be able to aid Young’s development.

Valencia has shown the value of width to United’s game and with this signing, United will be able to pose a threat down both wings. How do you see this playing out? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

36 thoughts on “Ashley Young Signs for Manchester United: Initial Impressions”

  1. He’s not a pure left winger b/c he needs to cut in to his right foot in order to cross the ball. This signing doesn’t worry me much.

  2. Good signing at 15m. Having two natural wingers in him and Valencia will give us lots of width, we always play our best with wingers who can get down the sideline and deliver good crosses for are strikers.

    I think this might mean the end for Nani especially if Inter ask for him in a deal for Sneijder, 10m + Nani is what I have read in a couple of articles.

  3. so Young is the difference now in being able to beat Barca? Absolutely not, need at least one more world class player to even be serious.

    1. Last time I looked Barcelona are not in the EPL. Our number one goal will always be winning the league, then doing well in the CL. And its not just our job to beat Barcelona its up too every team in the CL to raise there games and get to Barcelona’s level

  4. So how much playing time will he get with ManU? Starting 11? Squad player? He certainly fills a need but I’m not sure if he’s good enough to join the starting 11. Nani may be selfish at times but he has unquestionable talent. Valencia is probably their best all around winger. Park has the work rate and seems to be the chosen man for big games. The twins might also force themselves into the discussion. They didn’t play too bad when called upon to move forward.

    1. I totally agree with you on this. I recall both Raphael & Fabio played with great enthusiasm & promise when together in the team last season. Both are good utility players who can defend, add to midfield and score the odd goal too. I think Alex will be using them more in the coming season.

  5. United’s expansive play will benefit Young so I see him as being very successful. I’m sure Fergie will get the best out of him. I can smell title number 20.

    1. Its easy to see who watches a lot of football and who doesn’t, Nani is a left foot plalyer. He plays on the right wing so he can cut inside and shoot with his left.

      1. Umm no. When Nani plays on the left he usually cuts in and tries to shoot with his left.

        Well Nani is actually good with both feet (like Cristiano), but he clearly prefers his right (like Cristiano).

      2. Nani’s right-footed, mate…….although IMO he’s one of the most two-footed players in the league, he’s still a righty.

          1. Nani is two footed, he is technically a righty but he can play on either wing and cut in with either foot, ironically, it seems that he prefers to cut in from the right and shoot with his left

  6. Not the world class player ManU should be going after and signing. Young has never worried me when my team has faced Villa.

    If ManU’s aspirations are to always win the league and do well in the Champions League, then the team is selling it’s self short. They play in the “best league in the world” but can’t win the Champs league? If you set up to win the Champion’s league every year, I sure hope you can win the EPL every year.

    City is going to catch ManU fast as City has European aspirations. Ashley Young was never on their radar. You can’t buy a title, but you work your ass off for it and with the right players with a killer attitude that can be achieved. Ashley Young… doesn’t have the killer edge. We’ve all seen him play for England and Villa…

    1. So you’re telling me Mario Ballotelli has that “killer attitude”. What about James Milner? Adam Johnson? Gareth Barry? We’ve all seen Milner and Barry play for England and Villa too. Edin Zdeko has that “killer attitude” does he?

      We may have all seen Ashley Young play for England and Villa, but have we seen Ashley Young play for Sir Alex Ferguson, WITH Rooney, Chicharito, Valencia, Evra, Giggs, etc. for the 19 time English champions at Old Trafford attacking the Stretford End on the weekend or on the a European Champions League night?

      I understand all the excitement for City, but how about this. City is going to be placed in a difficult group as their Champions League coefficient ranking is ZERO. Plus, they will experience midweek games and weekend games now, something that takes time to adjust for a squad and a coach.

      1. Balotelli certainly does, Milner and Barry most certainly not, and Johnson has it but is too inconsistent(and he is my favorite player).

        City had midweek and weekend games all season. They had a great stretch before Christmas. They have enough players with European experience.

        While Young could fit in well with that team, I just expect more of United. Heaven forbid they become unstoppable, but I think they should be leading the race for Sanchez, Rossi(again), Cesc, Pastore, Mata. Not all of them, obviously. If I were a united fan I would be a little worried at squad depth. I don’t mean that as an insult. I am a City fan, I’m always worried. I just look at United and I see a lot of holes. Rio’s days are behind him, Giggs, Scholes is gone, Neville is gone. They couldn’t develop Rossi and Pique into they players they wanted/expected. Rooney has scored some important goals but is hardly the player before his injury/affair. Chicharito is a great buy. I don’t like Valencia. Evra and Vidic are very solid. You need to sign De Gea very badly since Neuer didn’t work out(and it should have). Also, since next year is Pep Guardiola’s last year on his contract, am I the only one who thinks he needs to come to ManU? He and Sir Alex get along very well from what I have seen. Even if it is a year of Pep being under Sir Alex and Pep just learning the ropes. I hate United, but your club needs greater aspirations(to scare the shit out of me). 19 league titles, yes. But back-to-back Champion’s Leagues? Another Treble, hell the Quadruple. Wouldn’t that be much better than just winning the league.

        1. I don’t understand why United “should” be “leading” the race for these players. It’s not up to the tabloids and agents, it’s up to Sir Alex and players who WANT to play for Manchester United, who WANT to win, who WANT to be embedded into the history of Manchester United.

          As far as the depth thing, United got along fairly well without Rossi yes? How many major trophies has Rossi won since player and club parted ways? Pique wanted to leave, SAF knew this, so no hard feelings.

          Rafael, Fabio, Smalling, Ashley Young, Nani, Cleverley and soon Pogba/Tunnicliffe isn’t depth? What about the co-leading scorer in the Premier League in Berbatov…okay, Welbeck or Macheda? Why don’t you ask how Ashley Cole feels about Valencia.

          You’re right, Manchester United don’t need external/great aspirations because we UNDERSTAND it has to be earned, it has to be WANTED. You just don’t say hey, I want to aspire, you have to actually act upon your beliefs. That is Manchester United; believing in the club, the manager, the support and believing that at the end of the day Manchester United will have a legitimate go at winning trophies, whether it is one, two, three, four, five or six.

          1. Watching Valencia rip Cashley apart will always bring me great joy. I never get tired of it.

            I really like the purchase. When Villa were in amongst the leaders in 08/09 and for a bit of 09/10, Young was firing on all cylinders. People can dismiss him because of his mediocre year last year. That’s fine. He knew the team last year was in rebuilding and that Villa weren’t a top four threat any longer, so he packed it in.

            I expect him to respond and thrive to a quality manager and quality teammates once again.

        2. As utd fans we are always disappointed when we DON’T win every competition we enter. SAF has his priorities and its goes League, Champions league, Fa cup and league cup. You cant just build a team to win the Champions league every year or you will get murdered in the EPL every other week, maybe Barcelona in la liga can do it but that’s a two team league and always will be.

          As for Pep Guardiola im not convinced he as good as everyone says. He inherited a good young talented squad and then molded it around Messi instead of Ronaldinho. His record in the transfer market isn’t exactly great either. I do like that he gives younger players a chance unlike Jose who’s not big on youth development

    2. Its good that you have European aspirations but maybe you should learn to beat teams like Dynamo Kyiv before you talk about playing with the big boys.

      “This is how it feels to be city”

  7. “we always play our best with wingers who can get down the sideline and deliver good crosses for are strikers.”

    After reading this from MUFC77 I asked myself “Isn’t this the problem with the English style of play?”

    To me clubs should be looking for wingers/players in general that can keep/maintain possession of the ball.

    Although exciting and effective at times,crossing the ball into the box isn’t everything

  8. I laugh at a few of these comments because apparently a few of you don’t know Manchester United, all you see are their results and success thus hate them.

    Manchester United are a squad who play with belief and with each other. They haven’t been the most talented squad ever, but their will and desire to win at all costs or to pick up a point at all costs is what separates them from the pack. The Champions League is a crapshoot that they’ve won once in the last four years, but have reached the final three out of those four years.

    Rooney doesn’t just stay in one area, Young doesn’t do that either, Nani goes wherever, etc, etc. United have interchangeable players and can rely on their defensive shape with confidence.

    Also let’s just get this out of the way….MANCHESTER UNITED > ENGLAND. FACT.

    1. “Also let’s just get this out of the way….MANCHESTER UNITED > ENGLAND. FACT.”

      Couldn’t have said it any better myself Eric.

      “Not arrogant, just better”

  9. Good signing for United, great signing for England. With the Champions League, Young will now get a whole host of opportunities to play against European competition that will increase his international resume, which is something that is valuable for any player.

    This is experience that Young and Jones will both relish, and England will reap from.

  10. A good player but he has 1 year left on his contract. Paying 15 mill when you could wait half a season and have VIlla rip your arm off if you offer 5 mill to stop losing him for nothing next summer. Of course that tactic only works if Young refuses any other offers for him, but he did seem very intent on Utd.
    Also the report was that Utd offered him 120,000 a week, on top of a 15 mill transfer he needs to be an important 1st team player.
    Also if it 15 mill for him, 17 mill for De Gea and 16 mill for Jones, that surely is not going to leave enough for a world class CM which for me should have been their number 1 priority after getting a keeper.
    It is going to be an interesting rest of the transfer window.

  11. The comments made about Young not a world-beater like the recent signings by say Sh**ty.. I mean City are a fair point. However, neither were ronaldo or valencia. Both have been excellent signings in my opinion. I am confident that Young will come through.

    As for superstar signings, it would be great but having egos around doesnt help you win trophies. You need a team where everyone accepts their responsibilities. There are 11 starting spots and everyone knows they need to perform to hold onto them. Easier said than done, but Sir Alex has been able to handle this better than most. Signing a foreign superstar with the wrong attitude might result in having a sulk on the bench. The english game is somewhat different and there have been past instances where players with excellent technical ability fail to adapt to the pace of the premiership.

    I am fairly certain that there is at least one more outfield player on the cards for manchester united. It is possible that some players might have to leave to help finance this, so it will be an interesting summer.

  12. I bet my bottom dollar that Nani is not going anywhere. Maybe I don’t know SAF personally but for long periods of time in 2010/2011 we only had one explosive winger and that was Nani. Maybe that helped his maturity and thought process on the pitch, something clicked this year for sure. SAF will need Nani, Valencia and Young to compete in all fronts for 2011/2012, and (knock on wood) the unseen injury. As for midfielders, SAF might have to pluck someone that doesn’t have as many stars as Nasri (just pimping for a salary increase), Cesc (begging for Barca to elope), Sneijder (and the whooping $200K a week), Modric (who figured a Croatian would fall in love with London?), De Rossi (face it, maybe 1-2 years too old) or jeez should we just start asking how much they want for Ineista? Heck, Barca needs cash to buy Alexis Sanchez, I think their last offer was $10M, a player to be named and a crate of Xbox 360’s with FIFA 12 saved on each hard drive, the CL Champs are cash-tight right now.

    1. who figured a Croatian would fall in love with London?
      Bit of a weird thing to say. Why is it hard to believe that a Croatian would fall in love with London? People from all over the world fall in love with London (although personally I’m not one of them).

    2. mate have you ever been to London or Manchester, its not very hard to fall in love with London but is definitely hard to fall in love with Manchester (see Tevez’s recent interview). also there are minimum tens of thousands of croatians in London. I really dont understand the point you were trying to make at all

      1. Mates, loving London was my bit of sarcasm…many fine footballers have chosen London over EPL trophies. :)

  13. Carrick was playing fairly well towards the end of the season and together with Fletcher, the midfield looks pretty strong. How about Rooney playing in midfield? He might lack positional discipline but he will be able to provide workrate and vision. Some of his passing this year has been very scholes-like. Hernandez and Berbatov have played well together so it might work out.

    If the season started tomorrow with the current lineup, I would feel pretty good about united’s chances of being competitive.

    1. I get the impression that Rooney may very well end up as the replacement for Scholes. He certainly possesses the necessary skills, vision and positional sense that are requisite for the role. I would like to see Fabio given a role in midfield as it appears those with a lower centre of gravity e.g. Xavi, Iniesta (Scholes) flourish in that environment.

  14. ashley young is a great signing and its very obviouse nani got to be out of the starting eleven cuz to be sincere young is far better than nani 100% but i await ferguson decision…united we stand

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