Ashley Young

For other people named Ashley Young, see Ashley Young (disambiguation).
Ashley Young

Young playing for Manchester United in 2015
Personal information
Full name Ashley Simon Young[1]
Date of birth (1985-07-09) 9 July 1985[1]
Place of birth Stevenage, England
Height 1.75 m (5 ft 9 in)[2]
Playing position Winger
Club information
Current team
Manchester United
Number 18
Youth career
0000–2003 Watford
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2007 Watford 98 (19)
2007–2011 Aston Villa 157 (30)
2011– Manchester United 110 (11)
National team
2006–2007 England U21 10 (1)
2007– England 30 (7)

* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 22:03, 17 October 2016 (UTC).

‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14:37, 19 September 2016 (UTC)

Ashley Simon Young (born 9 July 1985) is an English professional footballer who plays as a winger for Premier League club Manchester United and the England national team.

Born and raised in Hertfordshire, Young started his career at Watford, making his first senior appearances in 2003 under the management of Ray Lewington. He became a first-team regular in 2004–05, and was one of Watford's key players in their promotion winning 2005–06 season. Young continued to play well for Watford in the Premier League, and in January 2007 he transferred to Aston Villa for an £8 million fee, rising to £9.65 million with add-ons. He established himself in the first team at Villa Park, and has since earned 30 caps for England, scoring 7 goals. On 23 June 2011, Young signed for Manchester United for an undisclosed fee.

Club career


Despite having been turned away by Watford's Academy after an unsuccessful spell, Young endeavoured to improve himself as a player and was eventually offered a professional deal by the club.[3] The 18-year-old was handed his first-team debut under Ray Lewington in September 2003, scoring as a substitute against Millwall.[4] He achieved five substitute appearances that season, scoring three goals, and made his first start for the club in the League Cup. Young came to prominence in the 2004–05 season, playing a part in 34 of Watford's league matches as they struggled to survive in the Championship. Although he failed to find the net, his performance during this season earned him the club's Young Player of the Season award.[5]

Under Aidy Boothroyd in the 2005–06 season, Young was given a new lease of life as a striker and right winger. Young started 41 League matches, finding the net 15 times, including a playoff semi-final goal against Crystal Palace, as Watford qualified for the play-offs and eventually beat Leeds United 3–0 to gain promotion to the Premier League. During that season, Young scored a number of spectacular goals, including free-kicks against Plymouth and Leeds, a shot into the top corner from 30 yards out against Coventry City, and a curling shot against Queens Park Rangers. It was during this season, though, that Young was sent off for the first time in his career, in the local derby away at Luton Town.

Young began Watford's 2006–07 Premier League season well, scoring three times in the league, including a last minute strike in a 3–3 draw with Fulham (he had also scored Watford's second goal in the match), and a goal against Middlesbrough, in Watford's first win of the season in October. He also scored a free-kick in the League Cup. In the January 2007 transfer window, three clubs made £5 million offers for the Under-21 International. Watford rejected these approaches, as well as (as of 12 January 2007) an offer of £7 million, again from an unnamed club[6]

An improved offer of nearly £10 million from West Ham United was accepted. However, Young rejected the move, opting to wait for offers from clubs for whom relegation was not an issue.[7]

Aston Villa

Young (right) with Aston Villa in 2008

On 18 January 2007, Aston Villa had an £8 million offer (rising to £9.75 million with add-ons), accepted—the club's record transfer fee. This allowed manager Martin O'Neill and the Aston Villa board to discuss personal terms with the player. Two days later O'Neill confirmed the player had agreed to join the club. Young underwent a medical on 21 January and the signing was confirmed on 23 January 2007.[8] On 31 January, he scored on his debut for Villa at St James' Park against Newcastle United, but Villa went on to lose 3–1.[9] Young started the 2007–08 season well, receiving several Man of the Match awards, culminating in a call-up to the England squad.

In the 2007–08 Premier League season, Young finished second to Cesc Fàbregas in assists with 17.[10] Young was included in the Premier League Team of the Year, and apart from Portsmouth's David James, he was the only other player who did not come from any of the 'Big Four' (Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United) to make it into the best XI of the season. He is known for his pace, set pieces and ability to pass and shoot. He is also well known for cutting back onto his right foot and 'whipping' the ball into the penalty area.

On 20 April 2008, Young scored two goals and assisted two goals for Aston Villa against Birmingham City at Villa Park and Villa went on to win the game 5–1. He also scored the winner against Danish side Odense Boldklub in Villa's home leg of the UEFA Intertoto Cup third round. On 10 October 2008, Young won the Premier League Player of the Month award. This was due to his performances in the 2008–09 Premier League season. Having also won the award in April 2008, Young joins the list of players who have won the award more than once including Cristiano Ronaldo, Wayne Rooney and Steven Gerrard. On 7 December 2008, in the 3–2 win over Everton, Young scored two goals, one being an injury time winner after Everton's Joleon Lescott had equalised seconds earlier putting his tally for the season up to five. Manager Martin O'Neill later described the player as being 'world-class' in the post-match press conference. Ashley Young signed a new four-year contract until 2012 on 4 November 2008.[11] On 10 January 2009, Young was again awarded the Premier League Player of the Month award for December, along with O'Neill, who won the Manager of the Month award. He became the first ever player to win three Premier League Player of the Month awards in the same year.[12] During a match against Sunderland on 18 January 2009, Young was sent off for a two-footed foul on Sunderland's Dean Whitehead.[13]

Young training with Aston Villa in 2009

On 24 August 2009, Young scored a penalty as Aston Villa won 3–1 against Liverpool at Anfield. He did, however, miss a penalty three days later in a home tie in the UEFA Europa League against Rapid Wien. Young won two penalties in the first half of the game (one that he missed, the other that was converted by James Milner) as Aston Villa were eliminated from the tournament on the away goals rule.

During the 2010–11 season, Young became vice-captain of the club and played in a new free role behind the striker, allowing him to move from wing to wing and through the centre. Young scored his first goal of the 2010–11 season with a direct free-kick in the Premier League game at home to Bolton Wanderers on 18 September 2010. He ended the season with nine goals and fourteen assists in 39 appearances for Villa in all competitions. With one year left to run on his current contract, Young stated that he would not make a decision on his future until the end of the season. On 20 June 2011, new Villa manager Alex McLeish admitted that he was resigned to losing Young, stating, "It's not confirmed yet but it does seem likely."[14]

Manchester United

Young training with Manchester United in 2011

On 23 June 2011, Young completed a move to Manchester United for an undisclosed fee, reportedly between £15 million and £20 million, having passed a medical the day before, beating Liverpool to the signing.[15] He signed a five-year deal with the club for an undisclosed fee.[16] He was handed the #18 shirt previously worn by Paul Scholes. He made his debut for United in a 3–2 derby win over Manchester City in the 2011 FA Community Shield, playing the full 90 minutes and making an assist.[17]

He made his league debut for United against West Bromwich Albion on 14 August 2011, setting up the first goal for Wayne Rooney and forcing an own goal after a run down the left flank and cross, in a 2–1 away win. He was named man of the match. He scored his first two goals for United on 28 August in an 8–2 victory against Arsenal at Old Trafford. Both occurring after cutting inside from the left flank and bending two right foot shots into the far corner. Young made his debut in the UEFA Champions League on 27 September 2011, scoring a headed goal in the 90th minute to help Manchester United to a 3–3 draw against Basel. After a long term injury, Ashley returned on the field at Stamford Bridge in a 3–3 Premier League draw against Chelsea on 5 February 2012. On 16 February, he scored a goal for the lead in a Europa League 2–0 away win against Ajax at the Amsterdam Arena. On 4 March 2012, Young scored two goals and made an assist against Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in a 3–1 Premier League win.[18] On 2 April, he scored in a 2–0 win against Blackburn Rovers at Ewood Park.[19]

On 4 March 2015, Young scored his first goal of the 2014–15 season in a 1–0 victory over Newcastle United.[20] On 12 April, he was named Man of the Match after he scored the equalising goal and provided two assists in a 4–2 home win over Manchester City.[21]

On 7 August 2015, Young signed a new three-year contract with Manchester United, keeping him at the club until June 2018, with the option to extend a further year.[22]


Ashley Young Has been accused of diving by the press and has been spoken to by Sir Alex Ferguson[23] and David Moyes [24] about diving to gain an unfair advantage.

International career


As a result of his form for Watford during the 2005–06 season, in February 2006 Young earned a call-up to Peter Taylor's England Under-21 League squad to face an Italian Serie B squad alongside team-mate Chris Eagles. Young started alongside Eagles in the 1–0 win, playing the first half. His continued form into the 2006–07 season earned him a first England under-21 call-up to face Switzerland in September 2006. Young played the last 15 minutes of the match as England scored a late goal to win 3–2, topping their group, and reaching a play-off for a place in the 2007 UEFA European Under-21 Championship. At the finals, Young played three times. He took part in the semi-final penalty shoot-out against hosts Netherlands, scoring twice in the shoot-out as England lost 13–12.

Senior team

Early career

Young lining up for England at UEFA Euro 2012

On 31 August 2007, Steve McClaren called Young up to the full England squad for the first time to face Russia and Israel in the UEFA Euro 2008 qualifiers. He was again called up for the Euro 2008 qualifiers to face Estonia and Russia. On 16 November 2007 Young finally made his international debut and came on as a half-time substitute for England in a friendly against Austria. He has since appeared in the England friendly against Germany in November 2008, coming on as a second-half substitute. He was also part of the starting XI in Fabio Capello's England squad in the friendly against the Netherlands at the Amsterdam Arena on 12 August 2009. Young did not make the cut in Capello's 30-man squad for the World Cup in South Africa.[25]

Euro 2012

On 12 October 2010, Young made his first start for England in a Euro 2012 qualifying match against Montenegro.[26] He scored his first international goal in a friendly away to Denmark on 9 February 2011 in Copenhagen, which was the winning goal.[27] Young also scored again against Switzerland on 4 June 2011, as he got the equaliser with a volley from the edge of the area, after coming off the bench for Frank Lampard at half-time.[28] On 6 September 2011, Young scored the only goal for England in a Euro 2012 qualifying 1–0 win against Wales.[29] On 7 October 2011, he scored England's first goal away against Montenegro, and set up Darren Bent for the second.[30] England drew the match 2–2 to secure qualification for UEFA Euro 2012.[30] On 29 February 2012, Young scored his fifth international goal in a 2–3 home loss to Netherlands in a friendly match played at Wembley Stadium.[31]

On 26 May 2012, Young scored his sixth, as well as his fourth straight, international goal in a UEFA Euro 2012 warm-up game against Norway.[32] He became the first English footballer since Wayne Rooney to score in four straight international appearances. In his next game for England against Belgium he provided the assist for England's first goal. Young played in all four of England's matches at Euro 2012, culminating with a quarter-final defeat to Italy on penalties; Young was one of two England players to miss his penalty as Italy won 4–2 to reach a semi-final against Germany.

Personal life

Young was born in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.[33] He has one older brother[34] and two football-playing younger brothers, Lewis, who made his debut for Watford in 2008,[35] and Kyle, who in April 2009 was training at the Arsenal Academy.[36] Young attended The John Henry Newman School in Stevenage, and played school football alongside Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton, who was in the same year.[34]

Young's Jamaican-born father[37] supports Tottenham Hotspur, while Young himself, like his older brother, favoured Arsenal. His hero and "role model on and off the pitch" was Ian Wright.[34]

Career statistics


As of match played 17 October 2016
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Europe Other Total
Watford 2003–04[38] First Division 53001063
2004–05[39] Championship 3400040380
2005–06[40] Championship 391300113[lower-alpha 1]14315
2006–07[41] Premier League 2031021234
Total 981910823111022
Aston Villa 2006–07[41] Premier League 132132
2007–08[42] Premier League 3791010399
2008–09[43] Premier League 36730108[lower-alpha 2]2489
2009–10[44] Premier League 37562522[lower-alpha 3]0509
2010–11[45] Premier League 34720321[lower-alpha 3]0409
Total 1573012210411219038
Manchester United 2011–12[46] Premier League 25600007[lower-alpha 4]21[lower-alpha 5]0338
2012–13[47] Premier League 19020002[lower-alpha 6]0230
2013–14[48] Premier League 20200218[lower-alpha 6]000303
2014–15[49] Premier League 2623000292
2015–16[50] Premier League 18110205[lower-alpha 6]0261
2016–17[51] Premier League 2000102[lower-alpha 3]050
Total 1101160512421014614
Career total 365601922373544144674
  1. Appearances in Championship play-offs
  2. Appearances in UEFA Cup
  3. 1 2 3 Appearance(s) in UEFA Europa League
  4. Three appearances and one goal in UEFA Champions League, four appearances and one goal in UEFA Europa League
  5. Appearance in FA Community Shield
  6. 1 2 3 Appearances in UEFA Champions League


As of match played 10 September 2013[52]
Appearances and goals by national team and year
National teamYearAppsGoals
England 200710

International goals

As of match played 10 September 2013. England score listed first, score column indicates score after each Young goal.[52]
International goals by date, venue, cap, opponent, score, result and competition
No. Date Venue Cap Opponent Score Result Competition Ref
1 9 February 2011Parken Stadium, Copenhagen, Denmark12 Denmark2–12–1Friendly[27]
2 4 June 2011Wembley Stadium, London, England15  Switzerland2–22–2UEFA Euro 2012 qualification[53]
3 6 September 2011Wembley Stadium, London, England17 Wales1–01–0UEFA Euro 2012 qualification[29]
4 7 October 2011Podgorica City Stadium, Podgorica, Montenegro18 Montenegro1–02–2UEFA Euro 2012 qualification[30]
5 29 February 2012Wembley Stadium, London, England19 Netherlands2–22–3Friendly[31]
6 26 May 2012Ullevaal Stadion, Oslo, England20 Norway1–01–0Friendly[32]
7 22 March 2013San Marino Stadium, Serravalle, England28 San Marino4–08–02014 FIFA World Cup qualification[54]




Manchester United



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  3. McNulty, Phil (26 March 2011). "Phil McNulty: England ease pressure on Capello". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 March 2011.
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  12. "Young handed third monthly award". BBC Sport. 16 January 2009. Retrieved 16 January 2009.
  13. Stewart, Rob (17 January 2009). "Ashley Young sent off as Aston Villa run continues". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 18 January 2009.
  14. "Exclusive – McLeish: 'Villa don't want to lose Downing'". Talksport. Retrieved 22 June 2011.
  15. Ogden, Mark (30 May 2011). "United close in on Young". The Daily Telegraph. London.
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  18. "Tottenham 1–3 Manchester United". BBC Sport. 4 March 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  19. "Blackburn 0–2 Manchester United". BBC Sport. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 2 April 2012.
  20. "Newcastle United 0–1 Manchester United". BBC Sport. 4 March 2015. Retrieved 5 March 2015.
  21. "Manchester United 4–2 Manchester City". BBC Sport. 12 April 2015. Retrieved 13 April 2015.
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  24. "David Moyes: Cut out the diving, Ashley Young!". Retrieved 2016-09-16.
  25. "England's provisional World Cup squad includes Carragher and King". The Guardian. London. 11 May 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2010.
  26. "Young impresses as England year with qualifying draw". Aston Vila F.C. 13 October 2010.
  27. 1 2 "Denmark 1–2 England". BBC Sport. 9 February 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
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  31. 1 2 McNulty, Phil (29 February 2012). "England 2–3 Netherlands". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  32. 1 2 McNulty, Phil (26 May 2012). "Norway 0–1 England". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
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  34. 1 2 3 Viner, Brian (6 October 2008). "Ashley Young: Meet Stevenage's second greatest sporting prodigy". The Independent. London. Retrieved 15 September 2009.
  35. "Watford Team profiles: Lewis Young". Watford F.C. Retrieved 20 August 2008.
  36. "Young Gunner Kyle to be better than brother Ashley?". FourFourTwo. 8 April 2009. Retrieved 8 April 2009.
  37. Taylor, Daniel (16 October 2009). "Ashley Young: 'I knew I had to fight to prove them wrong'". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 11 December 2013.
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  39. "Games played by Ashley Young in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  40. 1 2 "Games played by Ashley Young in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  41. 1 2 "Games played by Ashley Young in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  42. "Games played by Ashley Young in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
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  46. "Games played by Ashley Young in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  47. "Games played by Ashley Young in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  48. "Games played by Ashley Young in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  49. "Games played by Ashley Young in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  50. "Games played by Ashley Young in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  51. "Games played by Ashley Young in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 19 September 2016.
  52. 1 2 "Young, Ashley". National Football Teams. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
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  54. McNulty, Phil (22 March 2013). "San Marino 0–8 England". BBC Sport. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
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