In the last year of his contract at Aston Villa and understandably wanting to play in the UEFA Champions League, the possibility of losing their star player on a free Bosman transfer next summer meant that the Red Devils got a reasonable deal at £16 million, considering for instance Liverpool paid £20 million for Villa teammate Stewart Downing.
Young, 26, is now hitting what is considered to be a footballer's peak age in terms of the correlation of physical and technical development along with their decision-making ability. This can be illustrated by the fact that 2011 has been his most successful year with the England national team, scoring the winning goal against Denmark in February, before scoring a volley from the edge of the area against Switzerland in June.
The talent of the former Watford player has never been under question, as illustrated by his winning the 2008-09 PFA Young Player of the Award along with consecutive selections in the 2007-08 and 2008-09 PFA Premier League Team of the Year.
Young can play as either a winger or a forward and is renowned for his lightning pace, technical skill, set-piece ability and the trademark cutting back onto his right foot and whipping in crosses to provide assists and vital goals. Since 2007-08 he has produced 53 assists and 29 goals from midfield in the English Premier League alone, including five assists and two goals in three games already this season in a new team.
Under the astute management of Sir Alex instilling an unquenchable thirst for success, not to mention being around the winning attitude of the quality personnel at Old Trafford, expect Ashley Young to flourish into a definitive world-class act for both club and country in the near future.