Manchester United could jettison under-fire winger in favour of long-standing target…
Out-of-favour Manchester United winger Ashley Young, who has struggled to impress at the elite-level expected by the Premier League champions since his £17m switch from Aston Villa in 2011, may face a mid-season exit during the winter window market according to recent reports in publications such as The Mirror and The Sunday People.
Young has not scored since his debut season as a Red Devil and has made just four Premier League appearances in the current campaign. It is a stark contrast in form from when he was at the peak of his attacking powers in 2009 onwards, when he repaid the faith Martin O'Neill had in him to pay Watford £9.75m for his services, when he was at his dribbling best and a clear goal and assist threatening Villan.
Glen Johnson marked Young out of the game when United lost to Liverpool earlier this season and, to put a punctuation mark to his already forgettable performances in 2013, he has attracted the ire of the footballing world for simulating a foul, winning a penalty - cheating, if you will - during the club's recent clash with Real Sociedad.
United are at their strongest in the attacking department. With Robin van Persie, David Moyes can brag one of the most skillful strikers of the football in the world and, deploying Wayne Rooney behind him allows the Englishman to do what he does best… run, harass, assist, track back, score.
In the central areas, though, the club still lack the heir to the throne vacated by Paul Scholes. Their deeper-lying trequartista, or quarterbacking midfielder, or playmaker… call it what you will, but it is a position currently unfulfilled at Old Trafford.
It is clearly hurting the club. Arsenal have Mesut Ozil (24), Chelsea have Eden Hazard (24), Liverpool have Steven Gerrard (29) and even noisy neighbours Manchester City have David Silva (27). Those bracketed numbers are the amount of chances the corresponding players have created this season from midfield positions.
A combination of Michael Carrick, Tom Cleverly and Antonio Valencia for United produces the same amount as Gerrard, clearly United need an orchestral player.
One playmaking midfielder potentially available for the right bid has collected league titles in the Eredivisie, La Liga and Serie A, he has a Champions League title, a hoard of individual honours and, at 29-years-old, remains strong on the ball with a superb passing range and stunning spot-kick ability.
In terms of cumulative transfer fees he is worth a hair over £41m but is currently valued by transfermarkt.co.uk at £15m which is, coincidentally, similar to the apparent market value of Young - £17.5m.
That player, Galatasaray star Wesley Sneijder, has long been associated with a move to Manchester, was allegedly blocked in becoming a United player by Internazionale so will feel like he has unfinished business with the club and continues to be speculatively linked.
Would a swap deal involving Sneijder and Young be a possibility considering Gala's reported interest in Young? Stranger things have happened and, if the Turkish kings were to lose one of their star assets, they may be more likely to do business should they be compensated with a recognisable name as well as some extra funds.
image: © nasmac