Ever since being appointed Manchester United manager last summer, Jose Mourinho has struggled to find a convincing option for the left-hand side of his defence. During the intermittent period, Daley Blind, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw and Matteo Darmian have all filled in at No.3, but few have lasted more than a handful of games at a time, with Mourinho seemingly doubting their overall quality and suitability to his style of play.
A 4-0 win over Everton on Sunday, however, appears to have thrown up a potential solution in the form of former England winger Ashley Young. After an impressive performance on the other side of the defence against Anderlecht in midweek, the 32-year-old was granted an opportunity at left-back against the Toffees and it’s fair too say Young took it with both hands.
We already knew how effective the 5 foot 9 wide man can be going forward, especially when whipping deliveries into the box or shooting from long range, but it was actually his defensive efforts that stood out most against Everton – playing his role in a clean sheet by completing the most interceptions of any United player, alongside two tackles.
It must be said that Everton didn’t present the most significant of threats on Sunday, especially as they lined up with just one wide player on the right in form of wing-back Cuco Martina. But after spending the vast majority of his career as part of the attack, the performance highlighted what Young can offer United at left-back – real quality on the ball when overlapping and solid, if not exactly world-class, efforts defensively.
Has Young made a strong enough case to be United’s first-choice left-back for the rest of the season? Let us know by voting below…