Has Ashley Young played his last game for Manchester United?

Guest Post by Ronan Newell. Follow him on twitter: @Ronandiniho

Mention the name to any Manchester United fan this season and they shall tell you many tales of injury, frustration and a lack of consistency.

(Getty)

(Getty)

The 27-year-old is nearing the end of his second season with the club in a campaign rued with injuries and mediocre performances. Fans patience is wearing thin and many have called for Young to be moved on in the summer. And with Young being ruled out for the rest of the season, has he played his last game for United?

Young‘s opening season with United saw him tally six goals in what was a steady start at the club. His best performances came against Arsenal at home at Tottenham away where he scored two goals a piece and showed why United paid nearly £20 million for him from Aston Villa.

But, consistency has been hard for Young to find. With United’s abysmal showing out wide this season,Young would sound like the number one choice but a string of ankle and leg injuries have limited Ashley’s playing time. He is yet to score this season and has struggled to have a genuine impact on United’s title winning campaign.

Fans questioned Young‘s ability to cut the mustard at the top of the game before his signing and in all honesty, he hasn’t done much to prove them otherwise in two years. Although, Ferguson has sometimes tended to use Young in big games for the defensive side of his game which has certainly paid off on occasions. For example, Young’s best performance this season probably came away to Manchester City in the dramatic 3-2 win where he doubled up with Evra and played a key role in the attack too.

But even if Young was to go, United would struggle to get a big chunk of the £20 million paid for him back in June 2011. Young‘s poor form and injury problems would surely see his price drop to anywhere between £8-13 million. Given how poor all of our wingers have been this year, there is certain to be transfer activity with United’s wingers (on top of the already confirmed signing of Zaha).

The glimmering hope and advantage to Young is his role – he is a good squad player. Not too bad a player to introduce if a player is injured or in a poor run of form. But the fair argument with this is that £20 million for an average squad player is unacceptable.

The debate is a strange one. You cannot simply ask for time to be given to him because Young is not a spring chicken in football. He is 27 and should be hitting his peak years already at United.

I personally see Young being given one more year to show his worth at United. Ferguson is unlikely to cash in on Young given the investment placed in him. If it is the same story next year, I fully expect him to be moved on.

Pre-season could be massive for Ashley. If he can string together some good performances in the upcoming Australian Tour, he may buy himself some time at the club. At Aston Villa, Young was a fantastic player. All he needs to do is replicate that at United. Easy, right?

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About the author: Ronan Newell 16. United fan from as long as I can remember. Go to games whenever I can. Big fan of Michael Carrick, Phil Jones and Robin van Persie. Follow him on twitter: @Ronandiniho

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