Having fallen to a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Newcastle United in their previous Premier League fixture, Aston Villa now have a great chance of putting that game behind them with a potential win in their next game against relegation-battling Watford this afternoon.
After the defeat at St. James’ Park, Villa boss Steven Gerrard said that “some changes in the team need to happen,” which suggests that there could well be some names taken out of the starting XI that lined up against Newcastle for when they take on Watford this time around.
With that in mind, one name that didn’t start last weekend that we feel should be in the starting XI this time around is Ashley Young.
Since arriving back to his former club on a free transfer back in the previous summer transfer window from Inter Milan, the Englishman, who is currently earning a weekly wage of £88k-per-week according to Salary Sport, has made 13 league appearances for the Villans, starting seven of them and chipping in with two assists.
Given how the 36-year-old has featured for Villa in a number of different positions across the pitch this season, his versatility could make him a suitable for Gerrard to pick against Watford if he wants to back up what he said after the Newcastle game and make some changes to his team.
The statistics work in his favour as well with Villa journalist Ashley Preece recently sharing on his official Twitter page that the team’s win percentage with Young in the team this season is 46.15%, whereas without him it stands at just 18.18%.
Labelled as an “outstanding” player on and off the pitch by Gerrard, it feels as though the Villa boss wouldn’t have a problem starting the former Manchester United figure from a trust point of view, whereas with a player like Danny Ings, who could also be one change that comes into the team this afternoon, his lack of consistency in front of goal this season could make him a bigger risk to put in rather than Young.
Moving forward, whether Gerrard picks Young to start against the Hornets or not, the Villa boss will be desperate to see his side pick up a win after their poor defeat last weekend to prove to everyone that the performance against Newcastle was just a one-off bad day at the office.