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Ashley Young: Winger or Striker

Ashley Young has played predominantly in a central role just off the lone striker this season and in midweek netted his first senior international goal playing off fellow Villan Darren Bent, but where is Ashley’s best position. The player has stated that he is delighted to be playing in a striker role once again after beginning his career at Watford in that position but the move to play Young in a central role has come into criticism from many Villa fans including myself. The decision has also forced Gabby out wide, a role in which he has not flourished, and I think you lose the balance of a side in playing Young centrally as he is the perfect winger in my opinion, on the opposite flank to Downing or Albrighton. Despite scoring for England, Young has not been in great goalscoring form this season having netted all four of his Premier League goals from set pieces, 3 penalties and 1 free kick. However, the 25-year-old has managed to continue his impressive assist rate from the middle, with 8 in all competitions. This is still way down on what was by far his best season at the club when he picked up the PFA Young Player of the Year in 07/08 when he scored 8 and set-up a fantastic 16. Also in his central role he appears to be getting less chances for himself than when wide, in fact in his last two games for Villa he has had just 3 shots at goal, all of which were off target. I believe playing Young back on the wing could allow for Heskey to provide for Bent in what could be a very profitable partnership for the latter. Either way, what do I know! Read what Ashley has had to say about his shift back in to the middle

“I was a striker all the time when I was younger, even at Watford.

“I am delighted to be playing there again. I have loved every minute.

“It gives me more freedom to go and get the ball and join in.

“Hopefully I will continue playing there at club level and impress the England manager.”

Young continued: “I have always wanted to add goals to my performances.

“As a second striker I have been getting in the box more often and having the chance to shoot.

“Hopefully I can increase my goals tally.”



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