If Ashley Young had lived up to his potential that made Sir Alex Ferguson shell out 17 million pounds in summer of 2011, Manchester United would have had the best pair of wingers in the English Premier League. Both Antanio Valencia and Ashley young were at their best in the 2011-12 season and since then it has been a period of disappointment, especially the performances of English winger Ashley Young have gone down day by day.
Ashley Young had a day to remember when he made his debut for Manchester United in the Premier League two years ago against West Brom and walked away with a man of the match performance. His other notable contributions were netting a brace against Arsenal and Tottenham that season. He scored 8 goals and 6 assists that in 33 games.
When many people expected better things from the winger in his second season with Manchester United, it ended up as a huge disappointment. Young made 28 appearances last season, scored and assisted zero. His appearances were restricted due to his foot and ankle injuries and the winger was never able to return back to his original form. He earned the reputation of a ‘diver’ where he usually goes down inside the box even for slightest of touches by opposition defenders for which he was heavily criticized by his own manager Sir Alex Ferguson. His dive inside the penalty box in the game against QPR last season that resulted in sending off of a player was something that was talked about for weeks.
Ashley Young missed the first two matches of the Premier league and the Community shield due to injury. He came on as a substitute against Chelsea and was given a started in the next match against Liverpool. His performances on the left wing were so frustrating that it was Manchester United’s fans who started to boo for his touches. All he managed to do was provide a defensive cover for Patrice Evra on the Left side of the pitch and was rightly substituted on the hour mark. He started in the next game against Crystal Palace and again literally offered nothing going forward. He was given a yellow card for diving in the first half, but was fortunate for getting a penalty the next time when he went down inside the box with minimal contact from the defender.
His style of play has become too predictable where his movement of cutting inside and then crossing the ball into the penalty box have been always cut off by the opposition defenders. He is always tightly marked by the defenders that makes difficult for him to move the ball forward and hence is restricted to a back pass. Further his quality of crosses have gone down day by day- he averages only 0.3 accurate crosses per game which clearly shows how wasteful he has been from the left wing.
With youngsters like Adnan januzaj and new signing Wilfred Zaha waiting for an opportunity to get a starting berth, it wouldn’t take long before Ashley Young finds himself relegated to a bench role with such poor displays on the pitch.