Ashley Young has claimed Manchester United’s ‘Player of the Month’ award for November following a series of impressive displays at left-back.
The 32-year-old claimed a superb assist for Chris Smalling during the 4-1 win over Newcastle United and provided the decisive strike against Brighton and Hove Albion.
He then topped the month off with a scintillating display at Vicarage Road with two sumptuous strikes in the first half to help Man United to a 4-2 win.
And Young, after Anthony Martial claimed the last two awards, has been duly handed the November ‘Player of the Month’ honour, claiming over two-thirds of the popular vote.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 1, 2017
While supporters are perfectly right to call for a left-back to be signed as soon as possible, we ought to appreciate at the same time the unique dynamic Young provides on the flank.
He is not necessarily a defensive disciplinarian by trade, nor even a man blessed with much pace – the two main attributes for any full-back. His style, rather, is far more idiosyncratic, malleable, capable of adapting to the situation.
When United need to dig in, he digs in; when they need to go forward, he will always be the first lining up a dangerous cross.
Above all, however, he is a man with a measured mindset. A sense of perspective. He has played in the Premier League since 2006 and his demeanour on the pitch – focused, driven, settled, hardly ever bogged down by pressure or circumstance – reflects that to a notable degree.
And supporters, as well as Mourinho, will hope that they can keep the calming, experienced presence of Young in the dressing room for some time yet.