According to a recent report from The Daily Mirror, Ashley Young’s future remains far from certain heading into 2019. The 33-year-old currently plays his football at Premier League heavyweights Manchester United and has done so since leaving Aston Villa back in 2011, although with his contract set to expire at the end of the campaign, it’s unclear as to whether he’ll be staying at Old Trafford.
And reports suggest that Italian giants Inter Milan are eyeing up a move for the £6.3 million-rated star (as per Transfermarkt) come the summer, as should Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez as he seeks a dynamic upgrade on current number one left back Paul Dummett.
Ultimately, while there are some areas of the Newcastle squad that are full of quality, the full back department is one that does appear to be lacking in such quality and overall sufficient depth, with Dummett and DeAndre Yedlin the main men down either side in Benitez’s starting eleven.
And while there is little doubting that both are hugely adept defenders and have performed solidly for the Magpies during their respective stints at St James’ Park, if Benitez is to take the club forward in the coming months and years, they ideally need to upgrade to more attack-minded and ultimately better quality full backs – Young falls into that category.
The 33-year-old may well have started his career as a winger at both Watford and Aston Villa, but he has in recent years been forced to move slightly further back in the United team in a bid for regular game time – he appeared 30 times as a full back under Jose Mourinho last term in their run to second place in the Premier League table.
And with all but two of his 19 appearances for the Red Devils this time round also coming at either left back or right back, the England international continues to prove his worth in the natural full back role, but significantly he has three assists to his name in that time to underline the level of dynamism he brings to that position.
Obviously, his time as a winger earlier in his career has helped develop his attacking mindset, and as such not only has he shown to be adept defensively as either a full back or a wing back, but he also carries a genuine attacking threat, which is increasingly becoming the norm for the modern-day full back.
And that is why Benitez must seek to look at the 33-year-old in the near future – he is reportedly eyeing up a more attack-minded full back in a bid to bring more dynamism to his ranks, and Young would certainly bring just that to his Newcastle squad.
Yes, messrs Dummett and Yedlin deserve credit for their efforts at full back, but to move forward under Benitez, they both need upgrading – Young would do just that in providing Newcastle with the dynamism the former simply can’t down the left-hand-side.
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