Former Manchester United star Ashley Young has returned to the English Premier League after putting pen to paper to a new move to his old club Aston Villa.
The 35-year-old, who will be parting ways with Italian giants Inter Milan when his contract expires at the end of the month after lifting the Serie A title, was linked with a transfer move to Burnley and Watford before the Villans entered the race.
The former United defender was reported to have signed a one-year contract with Aston Villa in his return to the English Top Flight. Speaking to VillaTV, Young said: “It feels amazing to be back, it feels like I’ve not left. I’m just delighted to be back, seeing some old faces, being back at the training ground, seeing the facilities and how well they’ve grown.
“You can see how much the club has evolved since my time and I’m just ready to get down to work now.”
The Villans head coach Dean Smith, who was tipped to be the new manager alongside Gennaro Gattuso and many others at the White Hart Lane this summer, was delighted with his new signing.
Speaking to the club’s website, Smith said: “Ashley brings with him a wealth of experience of top-level football both at club and international level and he is joining having just won a league championship in Italy.
“He is a player who can play in a number of positions and, having spoken to him at length, I know he is determined to make a real impact with us this season.”
The former England international, who could be deployed either as a winger or as a full-back, spent four seasons with the Villans after joining Watford back in 2017. He played a pivotal role for the then-manager Martin O’Neill’s team that forced their way into Champions League qualification in the 2009/10 campaign alongside Liverpool James Milner at the time.
In 2011, the English player switched clubs and joined Manchester United, where he was able to lift five trophies which include the Premier League, FA Cup, FA Community Shield, EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League in his nine campaigns at Old Trafford.
In 2020, Young seek out a new challenge as he travelled to Italy to join Inter Milan at the time. Playing under Antonio Conte, Young was able to win the Serie A title in the 2020/21 campaign. His decision to leave the Italian club return to England came after Antonio Conte parted ways with the Serie A champions.
Young, who earned 29 caps for England national team, played an integral part of the Conte squad in their title-winning campaign.
In other news for the Villans, in hopes of signing Emile Smith Rowe the Villa Park outfit had a bid of £25 million ($35m) rejected by Arsenal for their midfielder.
The Gunners, who sold their goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez to the Villa Park outfit last summer, are keeping a tight hold on their English midfielder as they are holding contract extension talks with the young midfielder.
Villans advanced was rejected right after they signed Norwich City star Emiliano Buendia, who was also a Gunners’ target this summer, for £35 million.
To fund their transfer for this summer market, Aston Villa had to let go of Neil Taylor, Tome Heaton and Ahmed Elmohamady, while Mbwana Samatta was sold to Turkish club Fenerbahce.