Reported plan to release Ashley Young is the right move

Ashley Young is expecting to be released at the end of this season, The Evening Standard reported.

He signed a one year extension a year ago, to much confusion among fans.

Despite testing patience of supporters on occasions, he has proved to be an adequate stop gap. He was terrible in the Nou Camp, but Ashley Young against Barcelona was never going to end well.

He showed he can still contribute in the win over Tottenham, and a recent goal in the victory over AZ Alkmaar last week.

But it looks like United are ready to move on, and it is the right decision.


Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Replacements found

Young has had a new lease of life at United in recent seasons since converting from a winger to a full-back.

Last season he played predominantly as a right-back, but this position has been solved by the £50 million signing of Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Diogo Dalot remains an option once he returns from injury and Ethan Laird has recently made his debut. He needs the chances Young might get.

Young has filled in at left-back with Luke Shaw injured, but Brandon Williams’ emergence has effectively killed off Young’s chance of a new deal.

Photo by Simon Stacpoole/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Going out on a high

United let Antonio Valencia go last season and he left with a whimper.

Had United allowed Young to depart, he would have left with jeers from frustrated supporters fresh. It would have been a sad way for him to bow out.

In the summer Ole Gunnar Solskjaer named him as club captain and it looks like this has actually been a positive move.

You only had to look at the scenes at the end of the derby win to see how popular he is with his teammates.

That isn’t a reason to renew his deal a further year, and only a spate of injuries might prompt United to reconsider.

Young has a chance to leave United on a high, perhaps lifting the Carabao Cup or Europa League.

But even if silverware does elude us, he would depart being regarded as a player who gave his all despite his limitations. That view might not have been so generous last May.

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