Last season, the sight of Ashley Young warming up would have been a deeply disappointing one for Manchester United fans. Laboured and uninspired, Young’s performances embodied the disappointing spell David Moyes had in charge of the club.
Fans were happy to see Young coming on for Radamel Falcao as the Englishman has been playing consistently well all season and has returned his recent injury by continuing his good form.
With United 1-0 down against Preston and Louis van Gaal‘s side struggling to create anything of note, the outlook was bleak. You might have expected Young to be rusty given his injury but he picked up where he left off and changed the game for United.
Goals from Ander Herrera, Marouane Fellaini and Wayne Rooney sealed a 3-1 win and the team’s progression into the quarter-finals of the competition. Young’s contribution was instant and pivotal in the victory.
Young’s remarkable turnaround started during United’s pre-season tour of the United States. The 29-year-old really impressed and played a big part in wins over the likes of Real Madrid, Roma and Liverpool from a left wing-back position nobody would have expected him to flourish in.
He carried this form into the Premier League and thrived in van Gaal’s back system. His pace and crossing ability in particular has been a dangerous tool for United during this campaign.
Young is gradually becoming an important player for the club and has shown great mental strength in being able to overcome the criticism he came under during his bad spell at United. Off the pitch, Young has always presented himself very well and so far this season he has been able to transfer that into his performances. Long may it continue.