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Ash is to Ashes – Young Intent on Summer Move?

Speculation has been pretty rife today that Ashley Young has no intentions of renewing his current contract at Villa, forcing the club into either a cut-price sale, or an inevitable free transfer the following summer, a prospect which the management said that they would take over any sale towards the end of last year. These were pretty strong words some months back but it seems impossible to think that Houllier would let his prized asset leave for nothing, especially considering the young talent coming through at the club and an abundance of talent in attacking departments on the market.

Either way, as I’ve said before, I reckon it’s time at the Villa Park bar for Ash, who seems to have maneuvered himself nicely into a position where the top clubs are battling for his signature. I believe that his decision to do this was intentional and he has done well for himself as I doubt the likes of United would be interested at a price tag perhaps double that of the one being touted due to his expiring contract situation. Do I blame him? Not at all, this is not with my pessimistic Villa hat on but the club has gone backwards in the past year or so, in order to go forwards I have no doubt, but it’s still backwards and if there is one thing footballers aren’t nowadays it’s loyal,…I mean patient!

The 25-year-old has been a great servant in his four years with the club, taking us higher up the league than if we were without him, I have no doubt. He deserves to be playing in the Europa League at the very least and FOR NOW, Villa just can’t provide that. Houllier will undoubtedly have been lining up potential replacements for Young before Christmas in my opinion, as efforts to keep him at the club such as marquee signings (Bent) and token gestures (armband) seem to have failed.

Reports have suggested that a source close to the player has stated:

“Villa are showing no sign of breaking into the top four and Ashley knows he has to think about playing at the very top if he wants to become an England regular before the European Championships.

“He loves being at Villa and the way the fans treat him but is set on moving in the summer.”

From what I can gauge, most Villa fans would be happy to take what I would consider to be a fair £15m fee given recent identical scenarios which shall not be named but a figure this high seems to be growing less likely with around £12m speculated to be enough to force Villa’s arm. Either way I’m not too concerned as I said before, a truly fantastic academy set-up is starting to pay for the club but you won’t win anything with kids so links to players like Gervinho, Stocker and Shaqiri become inevitable, even though the latter two are 21 and 19 respectively!

I wish all the best to Young if and when he leaves as he was a major part in transforming the way the club have played of late, at the expense of defending it seems but even so, his signing was just what the club needed in a time when Villa were somewhat devoid of pacy, tricky players and now we have plenty! In 178 games for the club thus far he has scored 35 and assisted 53 goals to highlight his quality with a goal contribution rate of 1 goal/assist every other game! So what’s the consensus? Well wishers, clinging on to hopers or betrayed haters?

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