Rio Ferdinand has hailed Ashley Young after the Englishman scored an incredible double against Watford in Manchester United’s 4-2 win.
The Reds started on the backfoot but two ridiculously good strikes from Young within five minutes changed the game and Young was a key part of a ruthless and entertaining Man United side in the first half.
The 32-year-old’s contract runs out at the end of the season and after a couple of average seasons as a squad player, though a very useful one at that, he has shone this year. He’s made the left-back spot his own and Ferdinand urged Jose Mourinho to hand Young a new deal.
“I’d definitely keep him, I think he’s a fantastic professional first and foremost,” Ferdinand said on BT Sport.
“He’s a great influence on the younger players in the dressing room. And he’s a very, very good pro.
“He works hard, he trains hard and you see that. Players that are on the edge of the first team when they’re called upon to come and play in the first team you can see how good professionals they are. If they come in and look fit and hit the ground running, that means they’re good pros. And he’s done that on numerous occasions this season.”
Ferdinand also emphasised the importance of having players like Young in a squad looking to win trophies, even if United buy a permanent left-back to replace Young, seen as a temporary option.
“He can play numerous positions as well, that’s the beauty of having him in your squad,” Ferdinand explained. “Those players don’t come around often and they’re vitally important to squads if you’re looking to win trophies.”
Young has been one of United’s best players in every game for the past month or so. He deserves a new deal. Some suggest he’s asking for a contract longer than the one-year extensions usually given to players over 30 at United and that is the current issue.
A two-year deal doesn’t seem to have many issues, but United may look to hold firm to ensure no other players demand longer than one-year in future, no matter how good or important they are.