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Could Ashley Young Be Our New Number 7?

Over the last couple of months, media outlets such as The Daily Mail and The Sun have been constantly hyping up a move to Old Trafford for Aston Villa’s talented winger Ashley Young.

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Over the last couple of months, media outlets such as The Daily Mail and The Sun have been constantly hyping up a move to Old Trafford for Aston Villa’s talented winger Ashley Young.

Given his performances over the last couple of years in which despite being only 25 he has become one of Villa’s most ‘senior’ players, so to speak it’s no wonder why Sir Alex Ferguson wouldn’t be interested in him.

As a dynamic midfielder, Young ticks all the right boxes. He has a great attitude on the pitch, has pace to burn and whilst being a demon set-piece taker has the ability to score all types of goals. Not only is he dangerous out on the wing but he has the ability to play well in the centre of midfield where he has played alot this season.

One of the reasons why Aston Villa really kicked on as a club under Martin O’Neil was undoubtedly because of the quality they had on the wing where Young and James Milner (now famously not a first choice for Manchester City) were causing clubs all kinds of problems.

Whether it was out on the wings or running through in the centre both Young and Milner were quickly improving their games and between them they were scoring vital goals as well as setting them up on a regular basis.

Despite Villa having a disappointing season by their usual standards, which has seen them go through three managers – four if you include O’Neil who left five days before the season started – Young has had a good year, scoring 9 goals overall.

In the Premiership he’s set up 11 goals with the majority of those coming from his accurate crosses which have quickly become a trademark of his. His form over the last season or so has caught the eye of England manager Fabio Capello who has earmarked Young as a player who has a great future with the national team.

Speaking to the Press Association after England’s draw with Ghana last month, Capello spoke about how Young as well as being a danger out wide is as dangerous in the centre. “In this position he is free,” said Capello. “His movement on the pitch is really good at all times. He is a danger when he receives the ball because technically, his vision on the pitch is excellent.”

Vision is a very important word for footballers and something that Ashley has in abundance and is part of his natural game. It’s rumoured that we could probably get him from Villa for £25m and that he would be open to a move, what with the fact that at 25 and given his talent he’s a player who should be playing European football every year – which we would be able to provide him at Old Trafford as well as the chance of winning trophies.

At Villa of course, despite being around some top players in Brad Friedel, Stewart Downing, Darren Bent and the aforementioned Agbonlahor, the chances are that it will be harder for Villa to win trophies as other rival clubs grow bigger year upon year. That’s not to say that they can’t do well in the Cup competitions and get back into Europe, it’s just it will be harder for them to do so.

I think Ashley would easily slot in at us and be a great signing. Despite us already having some top midfielders at our club, we always have to improve and if there’s a good player to be signed who we believe can do the business at us, we have to go and get him. 

Liverpool are also rumoured to be interested in Young as well as several other good players as Kenny Dalglish looks to return our rivals back into a side capable of challenging for the league.

That’s something of course we hope doesn’t happen for a long time yet, but should Ashley go to Anfield, there’s no doubt people would be comparing him to John Barnes, who like Young also started his career at Watford.

Sir Alex had the chance to sign Barnes famously in 1987 but decided to decline to sign Barnes who would go onto be a key part in Liverpool’s successful side of that era. I am not suggesting that if Young were to go to Merseyside that it would be to the detriment of our side, but given his talent I hope he’s a player that we can buy this summer.

Just think how much he would learn by playing alongside Ryan Giggs for a year and that he would become an even better player by being at our club. You can guarantee that our strike force would love to feed of his crosses and that with Giggsy possibly retiring next season, Young would be the ideal person to take over from his aura and become the creative juices in our midfield.

His energy, hunger and versatility make him a player that all the top sides in Europe should be looking at to sign. And with it looking like Michael Owen might be moving on in the summer, Young would be the perfect person to take hold of that historic number 7 shirt that’s become one of the most famous shirts in football.

By Adam Dennehey – @ADennehey87

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Man United keen on signing 2 players on loan to replace Marcus Rashford

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Odion Ighalo

Manchester United keen to loan Odion Ighalo and Islam Slimani

Manchester United are keen on signing Odion Ighalo and Islam Slimani on loan to provide cover for the injured Marcus Rashford. (h/t Sky Sports)

Ighalo plays for Shanghai Shenhua in the Chinese Super League while Slimani is currently on loan at Monaco from Leicester City.

Both Ighalo and Slimani have the experience of playing in the Premier League, having done so on 55 and 39 occasions respectively.

Ismael Slimani Manchester United
Slimani has impressed at Monaco

Both players have done well for their current clubs so far. Ighalo has scored 10 goals in 19 appearances for Shanghai whereas Slimani has registered 7 goals and 7 assists in 14 appearances for Monaco.

Premier League rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa are also interested in Slimani (h/t Daily Star).

Ighalo has a better record out of the two in the Premier League. With the Chinese Super League likely to be indefinitely suspended due to the coronavirus epidemic gripping the nation, it remains to be seen if the player will be allowed to travel.

Low-key but effective?

The injury to Marcus Rashford has left United without a reliable striker upfront. United have played both Liverpool and Burnley since the striker’s injury and have failed to hit the net in both games.

Given the nature of the January transfer window, it makes sense for the club to pursue a loan deal for an established forward until the summer.

Ighalo and Slimani are in their 30s but both players are physically imposing and are capable of playing as a target man upfront.

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United are currently 5th in the table with 14 games left to go. We face Chelsea in the league in February, which will give us a chance to close the gap on a top-four spot.

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Transfer blow for Man United as £13m difference could stop the deal for Portugese star

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Bruno Fernandes

Bruno Fernandes transfer to Manchester United at the risk of collapse

The transfer of Portuguese star Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Lisbon is at the risk of collapse with Sporting Lisbon holding out for £55million, according to Portuguese station TVI24 (h/t Metro).

The 25-year-old midfielder has informed the Portuguese club of his wish to move to Old Trafford and has already agreed on personal terms with United. Sporting are unhappy with United’s opening offer of £42m, which is £13m short of the Portuguese club’s expectation.

United’s offer contains a number of add-on clauses that can eventually take the deal to £60million. Sporting, however, deem the conditions improbable and are seeking a greater fee upfront.

Bruno Fernandes

Sporting are unwilling to drop their asking price as United have failed to include a player in exchange as a part of the deal.

The Portuguese side were willing to accept a lower fee had a player been included. However, neither Andreas Pereira or Marcos Rojo were willing to move to the Portuguese Primeira Liga.

Fernandes played in the 2-0 loss to arch-rivals Benfica in what could be the player’s last match for Sporting.

The Portuguese club have demanded a minimum of £55.3million as a guaranteed payment. They also expect United to include bonuses that are more achievable.

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Sporting will have to pay 50% of the sell-on fee to Fernandes’ previous club Sampdoria and will look to get as much as they can from United.

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Man Utd agree on contract terms with midfielder who could be signed for £51m

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Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have reportedly agreed on terms with Bruno Fernandes

Manchester United have reportedly agreed on terms with Portuguese star Bruno Fernandes. (h/t Sun)

The player has reportedly agreed on a Manchester United contract until 2025 worth £5milion-a-year ahead of a £51m transfer in the January transfer window.

The 25-year-old has played 25 times for Sporting this season and has scored 13 goals and 10 assists. (h/t Whoscored)

Bruno Fernandes

United were to make their first formal offer for the player. It is being reported now that the deal has already been agreed upon. (h/t Sun)

It’s claimed that Fernandes has been offered a deal nearing £100,000-a-week at United.

The signing of the Sporting skipper should provide the United midfield with numbers and an attacking impetus.

The midfielder has an £85million release clause in his contract but Old Trafford bosses have been working to drive the price down. The club were also open to offering two players to bring the price down. (h/t Sun)

Fernandes was part of the Portuguese squad that won the UEFA Nations League in 2019.

He has won 19 caps for the Portuguese national side and has scored 2 goals since making his debut in 2017.

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United next play Manchester City in the second leg of the Carabao Cup semifinals at the Etihad on Wednesday.

The Red Devils trail 3-1 from the first leg as they aim to get to their first final under Ole Gunnar Solksjaer.

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Man United veteran snubs extension and demands immediate transfer

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Ashley Young rejects one-year contract extension offer

Veteran star Ashley Young has rejected a one-year extension on his contract at Manchester United. (h/t Sky Sports)

The 34-year-old’s contract at United expires at the end of the season and the player looks likely to leave in the summer. Inter Milan are said to be interested in securing Young’s services (h/t Sky Sports).

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer is keen to keep the player at Old Trafford. Young is one of the leaders in the United dressing room and has the versatility to play in multiple positions.

Ashley Young

Antonio Conte has been a long term admirer of Young and even tried to sign him when he was at Chelsea. Conte is ready to offer the play an 18-month contract at Inter with a considerable pay rise.

Young joined United in the summer of 2011 and has gone on to make 261 appearances for the English giants.

He took over as captain from Antonio Valencia at the beginning of this season.

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Young is keen on moving to Inter immediately rather than waiting for the summer (h/t Daily Mail). He has been left angered by United’s refusal to sanction the deal in January.

United are in the midst of an injury crisis and losing Young would deal a harsh blow to whatever little chances we have this season.

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