It has been confirmed this evening on MUTV that Ashley Young has extended his contract with Manchester United.
The 33-year-old converted full-back has been in talks with the club for some time and an agreement has been reached to extend his deal at the club for a further year.
He joins Phil Jones and Anthony Martial who have signed extensions at the club over the past week. Juan Mata and Ander Herrera also have deals that are set to expire in the summer and are in talks.
While Young is a popular player in the dressing room, which may have some bearing on being offered a new deal, this news poses some questions about the direction the club is going in. It’s unlikely that the teams we should be competing against in England and Europe would extend the contracts of players who have shown to be lacking in quality.
Pep Guardiola, for example, cleared the deadwood defensively when he arrived at Manchester City and has spent £280m on defenders and goalkeepers. Pablo Zabeletta, Aleksandar Kolarov, Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna were all moved on. In contrast, United have clung on to the likes of Young, Jones, Smalling and Valencia.
To his credit, Young gives his all when he plays and never gives up. He’s as passionate as any when he’s on the field. But passion doesn’t make up for a lack in quality. You have to wonder how seriously United plan to invest in the summer or whether the club’s plan is to continue to rely on players who wouldn’t get near the squads of our rivals.