Ashley Young

Ashley Young
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Ashley Simon Young

Current Club: Manchester United.

Previous Clubs: Aston Villa, Watford.

Loan Clubs: N/A.

International: England 36 caps 7 goals.

Trophies Won: Premier League 2012/13. FA Cup 2016. League Cup 2017. Europa League 2016/17. Community Shield 2011, 2012, 2014.

Originally a lightweight, tricky, technically sound winger with a willingness to dive Tom Daley envies, Young has transformed himself in recent years, though he still has a tendency to go down a little easily when on the ball. Nowadays he could be considered a utility player, able to play anywhere on either flank, but he has mostly been used as a left back, despite being strongly right footed.

His strength has improved massively, though he is still not a powerhouse, he is not going to be brushed aside easily. He has good pace and is not just extremely hard working, Young also listens and follows manager's instructions very well. That makes him very well liked by the coaches he works for and why he is a regular over players that are technically better players.

Surprisingly for a winger, he is defensive minded and happy to sit in defend, rather than be a wing back who charges forward at every opportunity. One thing that he does have in his favour is good delivery when he gets in position, though he often cuts back onto his right, which can favour the opponent's defence over the attackers.

In fact Young's biggest weakness, oddly for a converted winger, is his lack of overlapping runs and ability to contribute to the attack. Whether it is managerial instructions or a personal choice, due to a fear of letting the team down defensively, Young often seems reluctant to get up and support attacks, like a natural full-back would.

Positionally he has been very good but he does lack aerial ability, Young is not the defender you want when a target man pulls off onto the back post when a cross is incoming. He is not a strong header of the ball at all. His main hope is just to put the attackers off, rather than winning it ahead of anyone.

All of that makes it very surprising he has been picked for the England squad to play as a left-wingback. A role that really does not make the most of his strengths and emphasises his weaknesses. It really is an odd choice, though he has not let anyone down, he is not very well suited to the position at all and it could be a weakness to be exploited as/if England progress.