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Can Young Be Big Enough For United?

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When I first heard the rumours towards the end of the season that we were interested in signing Ashley Young, I will be honest and say that it didn’t exactly set my world alight.

Whilst Young is considered to be a great player, he will be under pressure to show that he really is someone who can be a great player for Manchester United.

One of my main reasons for sitting on the fence on Young’s signing is that I believe there are players out there who we could have signed, who are or could become better than the former Villa winger.

This summer of course Sir Alex has spent money to bring in new younger players to our squad in order to stay ahead of our rivals which he hopes at the same time will help see us reel in Barcelona, which of course will not be an easy task.

Perhaps I was being greedy but I was really hoping to see Alexis Sanchez pull on a United shirt this summer, but as expected he has gone to Barcelona – no surprise there. With that in mind, I would have liked to see us try and sign Valencia’s Juan Mata or Lille’s Eden Hazard.

The two players have so much potential and the money that was spent on Young could have been used to try and bring in one of them. Of course it’s always worth remembering that perhaps even if we had tried to do that, they might not have wanted to leave although that’s not to say we might not try and sign one of them this time next year.

Saying all that though, maybe Young will justify for his doubters that he is the best option for United right now regardless of the other names that we have and will be linked with this summer.

Young needs to start the season well and impress when he plays. If he does not do that early on, then our other wingers like Nani, Antonio Valencia and Park Ji-Sung will take up his spot quickly and work hard to keep their place in the team.

Whilst at Villa Young was a great player in a good team and was very rarely challenged for his place. How will he cope in a side where competition for places is tougher, could he fade into the background?

On the face of it, this is something no United fan will want to see. The saying in Fergie we trust’ has been used many times over the years when justifying the choices made by Sir Alex and to his credit he does not usually get it wrong. So bearing that in mind, we should believe that Young will make an impact in our squad.

 For me though, there is still one thing that makes me uncertain on Young and that’s what position he should he be playing for us?

On the occasions I’ve watched Young play, especially last season for Villa he tended to play behind the striker. Of course with our new strike-partnership of Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez, it’s highly unlikely that Young will play in that position for us.

You would have to imagine that he will be playing mostly out wide for us and in the centre of midfield which is a position that he’s enjoyed over the last couple of seasons. But if we needed him to play in a more forward role, with his pace and intelligence on the ball he could be an option for us if the game isn’t going to plan for us.

Whilst I hope that Young proves me wrong this season, for the time being I am going to reserve judgment on whether he can be a long-term star for us. It will be an important first couple of months for him to continue his performances where he left off for Villa in a United shirt.

For now the United jury are awaiting evidence before trial.

By Tom Bradley

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