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Aston Villa must continue to play Ashley Young

Aston Villa managed to act promptly to find their replacement for Steven Gerrard, and will only have to go two matches with Aaron Danks in charge.

However, the 37-year-old stand-in did lead Villa to their only win in their last five Premier League fixtures, as they thumped Brentford 4-0 last time out.

Despite the majority of the previous reign being disappointing, there was one shining light in recent weeks that the 42-year-old manager was responsible for.

Having signed last summer under Dean Smith, Gerrard had this season deployed Ashley Young as a stand-in left-back whilst Lucas Digne was injured.

And, during this time, the 37-year-old has excelled.

The veteran offers vast experience down that flank and has been involved in the club’s only three wins of the current campaign.

Who should start at left back for Villa?

Lucas Digne

Lucas Digne

Ashley Young

Ashley Young

He even has a goal to his name, as his long-range scorcher salvaged a point against Nottingham Forest earlier this season.

SofaScore has highlighted his impressive performances, as the former Manchester United man boasts an average rating of 7.21.

Therefore, despite the reported return to action of the Frenchman this weekend, Young must not be displaced for their trip to Newcastle United.

Whilst averaging 1.1 key passes per game, Young also makes an average of 2.0 tackles and 1.6 clearances. He has been the perfect modern full-back since he entered the starting XI – most likely due to his years spent in a more advanced winger role.

Meanwhile, Digne’s performances have only seen him gain a 6.81 average SofaScore rating, with the defender yet to score or assist this campaign.

The decision to start Young was one of Gerrard’s rare successes during his stay at Villa Park and must be upheld by Danks with Unai Emery likely to be watching.

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David Ginola at Aston Villa

First up, who did Aston Villa sign David Ginola from in 2000?

Journalist Alex Shaw tweeted back in 2017 that the former Manchester United winger was a “fantastic squad option to have” and it is pleasing that five years on that remains true.

The new manager, as well as Danks this weekend, must rely on mature and experienced heads to guide his team into this new era which promises so much.

That is why he must stay in the team for the foreseeable future until Digne rightfully earns his spot back.