José Mourinho praises converted full-back Ashley Young

Ashley Young has caught the eye of Jose Mourinho after another good display at left back away at Southampton.

José Mourinho praises converted full-back Ashley Young
Mourinho praises converted full-back. (Photo: Matt Watson/Getty)

Jose Mourinho praised the contribution of Ashley Young following Manchester United’s dogged victory over Southampton at the weekend.

The 32 year-old has impressed at left-back since returning from injury after starting three of United’s last four matches.

Young put in a brilliant cross which lead to Romelu Lukaku’s winning goal at St Mary’s. He also put in a fine display during the Red Devils 4-0 victory over Everton and assisted Marouane Fellaini’s goal against Basel in the UEFA Champions League a fortnight ago and the United boss was full of praise for his left-back who he believes brings his team another dimension going forward.

He said: “If you have two attacking full backs on both sides, not just (Antonio) Valencia on the right, if you can have another one on the left it’s a positive for us on many occasions.”

Mourinho was also pleased with the way Young and his United team were able to adopt a more defensive style to see out the game rather than kill it off.

“What pleased me most was the pragmatism,” the Special One said. “We wanted to be in control but sometimes you can’t, sometimes we are not able. We have to give credit to the opponent, it was not our decision, and it was the way the game went.

He went on to say: “There was a moment where we felt we were in difficulties, so it’s better to make it solid. It was the first time that we played 20 minutes with a more defensive approach. Without this period we take a point and not three,” he told MUTV. 

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How has Young been used before?

Young moved to Old Trafford in 2011 for £16m. He was signed as a left winger. After a decent first season, he struggled between 2012 and 2014.

He became a crucial player in the second half of Louis Van Gaal’s first season (2014-15) where he scored big goals against Manchester City and Newcastle United. It was in the Dutchman’s second season where we saw his versatility and great professionalism as he was deployed more at full back.

Mourinho has only ever used Young as a full back both on the right and the left hand side. He’s shown good consistency, great attitude and offers something both defensively and going forward which is why he is currently ahead of the likes of Luke Shaw, Daley Blind and Matteo Darmian.

Young only played 23 times for United last term (12 in the Premier League). Injuries have hindered him in recent seasons but the England man looks increasingly more likely to be first choice for the foreseeable future.