Ashley Young has been linked with United for over six months now, even if it wasn’t United the young English winger has been the subject of transfer speculation columns. With the summer approaching and Young having undergone a medical today on the 22/06/2011 at Bridgewater hospital, a deal is now looking imminent. With speculation in mind there are obvious reason why Young makes total sense for Manchester United.
The obvious question that surrounds this move is do United actually need another winger in their team? With them already having players such as: Nani, Valencia, Park, Giggs and Obertan as first team wide players. This position is seen as one that clearly doesn’t need to be strengthened by Ferguson. Giggs is more often used centrally than out wide today, and as for Park he is clearly used as a tactical role rather than a purely wide one obviously due to his non-stop work ethic. Tom Cleverly is also returning from his loan spell at Wigan Athletic this summer, whilst he is able to play wide he is naturally a central player.
Ashley Young is about to turn 26 years of age this summer and he may have only played 11 games in Europe, none of which have been in the Champions League, but he has played 177 games in the Premier League and clearly understands the league well which is a bonus. With Young knowing the league well and his ability to speak the language, put both these together and it can only be a good thing as surely any ‘settling-in’ period should be reduced significantly. Compare this with other names which have been mentioned, players like Neymar and Alexis Sanchez who both don’t speak the language and don’t know the league at all, and both would obviously cost more. Remember, Nani even though he was playing in the shadows of one of the best, if not the best player in the world Cristiano Ronaldo when he was at United, it took him a good 2 years to find any form that was seen as consistent. So this is a good thing for United as even if it’s only a squad player your signing who settles somewhat instantly is a bonus.
Recently these are times when signings are often linked to ‘value’. Young is out of contract in 12 months time so despite being an English he is a player which is a victim of the inflated transfer fee clubs have to pay. All this aside Young would probably arrive at OT for a fee ranging from £10-£16 million pounds, additionally his wages would be in line with the average wages at the club.
Young’s form in the Premier League has been very consistent over the past four seasons having scored 9 goals in each of them, also he has amassed 60 assists over that time. Ever since Ronaldo left in 2009 United’s wide areas have been lacking goals and assists and Young would seem to fit the bill in that respect. All season long there has been a constant frustration from United fans when they’ve been taking set pieces. United have players that can clearly score from set-pieces the main choice being Nemanja Vidic, and with their corners rarely beating the first man is disappointing. Ashley Young is an excellent set-piece taker and has shown his worth in that respect even against United, where he provided deliveries that were described by SAF as “Undefendable at times”. Clearly it would be a great advantage for United if they were to have someone like this in their ranks who can take good set-pieces, both direct and indirect.
The ‘typical’ United winger would have to be fast, a good dribbler, someone who can cross the ball and someone who is confident on the ball. Truthfully, Young ticks all of these boxes, obviously he doesn’t excel in every area and yes there are better players in the world than Young, but he is reliable and definitely capable of doing the things he needs to. With United’s strikers being ones that feed off good service, especially with Rooney’s best season being the one where Valencia provided good quality service, Chicarito, who has also shown all season that he loves to get on the end of crosses. Despite Young being right footed he is also comfortable on the left hand side, so with United having the opportunity to have good wingers on both sides of the field would be something very handy.
Young is under-underappreciated in terms of the defensive work he does but he is an attacking player. When United are looking to switch in order to be more positive away from home and for example if Nani and Valencia both started and one needed replacing, Young would seem the better option for this instead of Park when looking for a win.
Ashley Young may not be player that most United fans think SAF should sign, this is because more people think we should be concentrating on the central role due to Paul Scholes announcing his retirement. However in my opinion with Giggs coming to the end of his career and Bebe out on loan, also with Obertan looking to be on his way out in the summer and finally with Park looking like he’s only got 2 more seasons left at OT this signing looks to be a good one both for long term and short term, as Young clearly fits the bill for a typical United winger.
Guest Writer: @KingMarshy
With rumours gathering pace of the departure of Dimitar Berbatov, opinion between united fans has never been greater.
In one corner you have the lazy, slows us down, waste of money brigade and in opposition to that we have the genius, misunderstood and vital to united cause team. I’m firmly with the later opinion.
I haven’t always been the biggest fan of Berbatov, my judgement on such a player was clouded with the whole team’s inept finish to the 09/10 campaign, and I looked for a scapegoat and found unfairly Dimitar Berbatov. Especially after the Blackburn away game.
During his 1st season I wasn’t sure what to make of him, with no pre season with the club behind him I thought it would take a while to get into his step.
In his 1st game he set up Tevez beautifully for a goal at anfield, then like most games during that 1st season faded away during the course of 90 mins.
At times he looked far from a £30 million player.
During his 1st season I was a home match going red only and was starting to get impressed with his clever movement off the ball and runs he would make, yes sometimes he would pick out an exquisite pass and sit back and admire it, but his genius of unlocking defences was starting to shine through, at times he was almost on a different level to the other united players, seeing things others couldn’t, maybe too clever for his own good?
Being at the matches and seeing all the above was something you obviously don’t see on TV and in my own experience in the whole Berbatov argument, the majority of fans that don’t quite understand him were the arm chair supporters who didn’t get to see what he does off camera.
It maybe fair to say during that 1st season he was overwhelmed a bit at being at a big club at united and being expected to perform week in week out, all this not being helped when the player he ultimately took the place of, Carlos Tevez was all action gut busting running around the pitch. 2 completely different players.
In the end Tevez didn’t want to fight for his place, turned down the opportunity to be one of the highest paid players at the club and left for the noisy neighbours. Some fans blamed Berbatov for this.
His 2nd season he started to find his feet a bit more, again no pre season due to injury he found himself out of the team with Rooney playing a lone striker role to perfection.
Not once did Berba speak out or moan about his lack of game time.
As the season drew to a close, Rooney picking up his injury, all expectations for goals fell on Berbatov who to be fair had been in and out of the team that season, unfortunately Berba didn’t deliver and we lost out on the league by 1 point.
As stated previously I was angered with Berbatov, fed up of making excuses for him and not seeing him deliver, a statement from myself brought on by failing to land a 4th title in a row and the 19th league title. Sheer frustration.
In the 3rd season, with a whole pre-season training behind him the real Dimitar Berbatov turned up, started scoring goals from the off set and looked as if he had a point to prove.
He started to win over the majority of supporters, I myself realised what a muppet I was in blaming him at the end of the previous season. He was and still is possibly the most skilful and gifted player we have at the club who can make something almost out of nothing.
The end of the season ended on a sour note for him, with the form of Hernandez, Berbatov was forced to watch from the sidelines as united marched on to the 19th title and the European cup final.
Despite all this Berbatov finished joint top scorer in the league and probably would have won it out right had he been given more game time.
Again with Berbatov benched he didn’t go running to the papers once, he sat there and celebrated each united goal as if he had scored it.
His exclusion from the champions league squad was the straw that broke the camels back, Berbatov was reportedly to have left Wembley and gone home when finding out he wasn’t included at all. We have since found out he watched the game from the dressing room, embarrassed that he wasn’t selected.
My heart went out to Berbatov that night, I couldn’t and still can’t find a reason that would justify Ferguson not finding a place in the squad for him.
I refuse to blame Berbatov for his actions, it is something id rather he didn’t do but I can understand his reasons behind it and since this he’s said he’s ready to again battle for his place at the club, something you don’t hear very often from other professional footballers.
With all this said I firmly believe Berbatov is needed at united and selling him would be a huge costly mistake.
The argument for selling him is that at 30 and with a year left on his contract now is the best time to sell him. A good point but one for financial reasons rather than the good of the team.
If we were to sell him and replace like for like then we are looking at £20m plus to replace him, that’s assuming we can buy a player who would be willing to spend time on the bench and fight for his place.
Some argue we could replace with what we already have in the form of Owen, Welbeck and Macheda. Id love to see nothing more than Welbeck making the grade at united but I think he still needs at least another 2 more seasons before we can look at him as a viable option, same as Macheda and as for Owen I’m a big fan but couldn’t see him place back to back games week in week out if Rooney/Hernandez were out injured or suspended.
Then there’s what to do if either the above 2 lose form? It’s obvious if we didn’t have Berbatov during Rooney’s lean spell we wouldn’t have won the league, you can’t argue that fact. “2nd season syndrome” could easily effect Hernandez, can’t see it personally but there’s always a chance. It’s so important we have a player like Berbatov in our ranks, something completely different to what we have now.
Due to Berbatovs style of play he could easily carry on playing for us for a good 4 more years, he’s very teddy Sheringham-Esque, not relying on pace but seeing everything before its happened.
We could run the risk of losing him for nothing this time next year but in my opinion it’s a risk worth taking when considering all the facts about Berbatov.
I just hope he stays.
Being a goalkeeper for any club is a thankless task, for every amazing save they make there is always a chance that just 1 mistake could define their career and have them branded as a dodgy keeper.
At some clubs you can get away with the mistakes, but at united 1 error is magnified 10 fold and you are lablelled as a failure to the throne of peter schmeichel or from now on Edwin Van Der Sar.
Take a look at Ben Foster, a young keeper who everyone thought had the potential to be our number 1, at reserve level he put in commanding performances and filled us all with hope that we may have uncovered a gem of a player.
A season on loan at Watford gave him the premiership experience, however he was guilty of letting Paul Robinson score from a goal kick, misjudging the flight and bounce of a ball as Robinson launched it into his area. A mistake that at united the world would have seen and laughed at.
Fosters chance came at united during an injury lay off for Edwin, Foster couldn’t handle the pressure, he made a lot of mistakes during his spell in between the sticks and once the 1st error was made the rest followed and that was pretty much the end of his united career.
It wasn’t all bad news for foster at united, he was part of the carling cup winning team, saving a penalty in the shootout against spurs and putting in a man of the match performance, unfortunately he just didn’t progress from there.
Ben foster is now a championship goal keeper having been relegated with Birmingham this season.
Another example of promise but ultimate failure is Tim Howard, he started so brightly in the united shirt and we finally looked to have replaced the big Dane, however 1 mistake against Porto that got us knocked out of the champions league and his head had gone and so was his united career.
So what about David De Gea? Very similar in age to foster but arguably less experienced having never played for his country at senior level.
De Gea is 20 years old with his best years way out in front of him, ilker casilas has already said he’s the future Spanish number 1 keeper so its clear he is highly rated in his country.
I’ve seen snippets of De Gea, he seems a good shot stopper and distributor of the ball, all key skills that we need for a united keeper, but for someone so young and inexperienced it will be a worry for me IF he signs.
Key word being IF
For whatever reason we are led to believe that David De Gea didn’t jump at the chance to join us and is still very much undecided whether to join us.
There are many rumours why this is the case, from changing agents on july the 1st, to not being keen to move to such a big club at a young age.
That’s the worry for me already, what if he thinks he’s not quite ready for this job? He’s never played champions league football, or got premiership experience, probably never played in the cold wet windy weather, all new experiences he has to deal with and that’s before the added pressure of trying to justify his massive transfer fee at one of the biggest clubs in the world.
He does have the experience of being a Europa League winner but that competition is a million miles away from what he will be coming up against in the red of united.
United fans are speaking from experience when we say that the goal keeper is one position you cannot mess with, we’ve seen it down the years trying to replace schmeichel, putting in players without that experience or mental strength that all ultimately failed until the arrival of Edwin. I can’t help but feel the united management haven’t learnt from their mistakes in not signing a proven world class keeper with experience, it’s the most important signing of the summer.
Personally id have gone for Buffon at Juventus, a world cup winner, champions league winner, and most importantly an experienced keeper who has been there and done it all.
Buffon is rumoured to be keen to try out the premiership and is a big admirer of Manchester united he is also no longer 1st choice at juve after losing his place when out injured, his contract runs out in 2013 so its possible we could get him cheap.
Buffon would certainly not be afraid of the job in hand at united and wouldn’t care about barking out orders to the back 4, something I cant see De Gea doing to Vidic and Ferdinand.
Talk about Buffon however it seems is pointless and that De Gea is the man to take over the number 1 jersey.
I don’t want to be negative about any united player especially 1 that hasn’t even appeared for us yet but I cannot help but feel that De Gea isn’t the keeper for us and he’s going to prove a flop, of course id love to be proved wrong but its like history repeating itself for united fans.
What makes me worry even more is that De Gea wasn’t our number 1 target either which means that the keeper we have plumped for wasn’t seen to quite make the grade to be the best man for the job.