There are a lot of things that you can point to when it comes to finding examples of Manchester United’s plight, but the ongoing presence of Ashley Young in the first team is the clearest sign of how far they have fallen.
In some ways he should be commended for lasting as long as he did at Old Trafford, especially considering he was a right winger who had been converted into a left back, but his performances were poor and he was a weak point in a fairly poor defence.
Clearly the managers that have passed through the club have seen him as a dependable option, but one look at social media on a match-day when he plays shows you just how maligned he is among a section of the United support.
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It looks like they are in for some good news, as a report from ESPN has indicated that he will be allowed to leave for free at the end of this season. It sounds like his contract is due to expire and he isn’t expecting to be offered a new one.
Luke Shaw did look like the long term option on the left side of the defence when he first arrived, but he’s suffered a host of injury and fitness concerns ever since he broke his leg a few years ago, so it will be interesting to see if he’s trusted alongside Brandon Williams to carry the team going forward, or if another signing will be made.
As for Young’s future, the report does say that he has no plans to retire and he does want to keep playing, with possible interest from multiple Premier League and Championship clubs.
He’s had a good career but clearly isn’t good enough for a team that has Champions League and even league title ambitions, so this sounds like the best thing for everyone.