Peter Crouch: Ashley Young is the best left-back in the Premier League

by Leo Nieboer

Former Liverpool and England striker Peter Crouch has hailed Ashley Young as the best left-back in the Premier League this season.

The Englishman was linked with a move away last summer having only made 12 Premier League appearances, but his resurgence under Jose Mourinho this term has been exceptional.

Young has made 30 appearances in total since September and, in turn, received a call-up to the England side for the first time since 2013 and an extension on his current deal at Old Trafford.

And Crouch, picking his team of the season for the Daily Mail, gave Young the left-back spot and hailed him as the best in the country at this moment in time.

“While Walker is an obvious choice on the right, some of you will be surprised by Ashley Young but, right now, he is the best left back in the country and he will get votes because of his form,” he said. “He’s been very solid.”

There are times when you can tell Young is 32. He does not bomb down the left channel like he used to and this can occasionally serve as a detriment to whichever player occupies the left-wing. An experienced yet energetic option to share the load with him next season is certainly necessary.

But there are times, such as the win over Liverpool, when you realise just how valuable his maturity on the pitch can be. He is an intelligent player above all else, positioning his body cleverly and manipulating the ball with authority. There are times when United players have wilted under pressure during the post-Fergie era but Young – a confident and popular voice in the dressing room – has never been one of them.

Gareth Southgate would certainly be foolish to leave him at home for the World Cup this summer.

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