Aston Villa boss Dean Smith could land a transfer bargain by signing Ashley Young on a free transfer this summer.
The Athletic claim that Villa are interested in bringing the former England international back to the club, as they look to strengthen their options at full-back and on the wing.
It’s added that the 35-year-old will be allowed to leave Serie A giants Inter, and that Villa have already asked about whether he would consider a return to Villa Park.
The report claims that: “Smith sees Young as an ideal option as he can play on both flanks and would bring with him a significant amount of experience.”
While at 35, Young is hardly someone who would take Villa to the next step or be a real game-changing signing, the fact that he’s so versatile, would be available on a free once his contract at Inter expires, and has tonnes of Premier League experiences, makes him a dream signing for Johan Lange.
Smith has already indicated this summer that he’s looking for that sweet spot of players who are British and have Premier League experience so that they can hit the ground running, and Young fits that bill to a tee.
Not only that, but the man with 83 goals and 121 assists to his name in his career, would also offer a real sense of leadership and experience to the dressing room, and it’s something that Eric Steele, his former coach at Manchester United has waxed lyrical about.
He said: “I don’t think people should underestimate the role he has had within the football club as well as the team. You need leadership. When I was at the club you wouldn’t go anywhere near the training ground dressing room because you had people like Gary Neville, quite right, who would monitor it. Ashley Young has followed on in that tradition. There is unseen work he’s put in.
“I think Ashley’s been a terrific signing for the club. He was in the bracket of the great pros from my time. He could have a joke, but when it was needed he wasn’t scared to give an opinion. He is a fit boy. He recovers the right way. I can see him play another two or three years. He is a gym animal.”
With him having already played 190 games for Villa and enjoying a really successful spell there – he scored 37 goals and provided 59 assists in his time there – fans would surely be buzzing at the prospect of seeing him make a return.