Aston Villa full back Luke Young looks set to snub interest from Liverpool to join new Fulham manager Mark Hughes at Craven Cottage. Hughes has sanctioned the deal which was put in place by Hodgson during his time last season as Fulham manager. Hodgson then tried to convince Young to follow him to Anfield which he seems unwilling to do. Young’s proposed move to Merseyside has hit the rocks as a result of Young’s reluctance to take a significant pay drop in order to link up with Hodgson’s men.
Young’s rejection of Liverpool could be construed as a lack of ambition on the part of Young. He was presented with an opportunity to join the most successful club in England but instead chose to join Fulham who only just managed to stay in the Premier League a few seasons ago. With his advancing age (Young is now 31), Young’s chances of joining a similarly big club in the limited years he has left in his playing career are pretty slim.
In addition to a lack of ambition at club level, the same accusation could be levelled at Young at international level. Young chose to retire from international football following his decision to decline his England call-up for a friendly against Brazil last November in Doha. However, there were mitigating circumstances surrounding his decision as Young was dealing with personal tragedy following the death of his brother Andre who died on holiday in Crete.
While his decisions to turn down Liverpool and England can be seen as a lack of ambition, it may prove to be a prudent one in the long run for Young. Despite being known for being a highly consistent performer, Young found himself out of favour at Villa Park during the latter half of last season under Martin O’Neill. He was replaced at right back by Carlos Cuellar who was being played out of position by O’Neill while Young himself was left on the substitute’s bench. His experiences at Aston Villa have maybe caused Young to think again about his move to Liverpool as a move to Merseyside would probably mean more time on the sidelines for Young. At Liverpool, Young would find himself behind established players Glen Johnson and Jamie Carragher in the full-back pecking order at Anfield along with youngster Martin Kelly who has impressed at full-back in Liverpool’s pre-season so far.
In any such case, Young finds himself in a tough spot. Unwanted by O’Neill at Aston Villa and desperate to trim the wage bill at Villa Park, a move away is a certainty for Young. If Fulham do sign him they would be getting a consistent and versatile player who would undoubtedly help to strengthen Mark Hughes’ squad at Craven Cottage.