Manchester United fear Ashley Young is at risk of being fatigued are set to give hand him a Christmas period rest. Since missing the start of the season through injury, the former Aston Villa winger has been a player reborn under manager Jose Mourinho, who has used him as a left full-back.
Despite being a right-footed midfielder by trade, Young has been keeping regular left-backs Luke Shaw and Daley Blind out of the side in recent months. Young, 32, has made 16 appearances across all competitions this season and due to his hot form, the United manager rewarded him with a bumper one-year contract worth £6million to keep him at the club until 2019.
The form that Young is in has seen the club take up their option to extend his contract, which was set to expire next summer. The player’s versatility saw him get an England recall in November.
However, the United conditioning staff have been reviewing his fitness data ahead of the busy festive run. And the 32-year-old is set to be handed a much-needed break in the busy festive period, where United play six taxing games in the space of just 17 days.
A source close to the club told The Sun:
“The club are concerned Ashley is risking a bit of burnout and are treading carefully. He has had a small rest, but not enough. He has played so many games this season and has been fantastic. The conditioning staff have seen the data and wants to preserve his ageing legs coming into the busy period. He has a history of niggles and that is another reason why the backroom staff are being cautious.”
Young could find himself back on the substitute’s bench after the January transfer window as United are reportedly looking to sign left-back Danny Rose from Tottenham Hotspur. Juventus full-back Alex Sandro has also heavily been linked with a switch to either Chelsea or Manchester United.
However, Luke Shaw, who has been heavily linked with a move away from the club, is expected to get first-team opportunities, with Young set to be rested during the busy Christmas period in order to avoid fatigue accumulation.