Young was ruled out for over a month after suffering a hamstring injury against Stoke City in December.
His brief cameo against Cambridge was his 100th appearance for Man United, and he took to social media to express his pride at reaching the milestone:
Good to be back on the pitch tonight and proud that it was my 100th @ManUtd appearance. On we go in the FA Cup!
Young was thriving in van Gaal’s wing back system before his injury so his prolonged absence came as a blow. It is a far cry from last season, when many fans were calling for his exit from the club.
The way the 29-year-old has turned his fortunes around is a testament to his character, as he has always stayed positive in the face of criticism.
His crossing ability and pace could be a strong asset during the second half of the season as Man United continue their quest for Champions League football, although he will be fighting for a place in the team as Luke Shaw will be keen to start every game now that he is fit again.