Ex-Man United captain Young returns to Aston Villa

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Ashley Young

Former Manchester United star Ashley Young has rejoined Aston Villa on a free transfer from Inter Milan.

The versatile 35-year-old, who scored 38 goals in 190 appearances for Villa between 2006 and 2011, has signed a one-year contract with the Premier League club.

“It feels amazing to be back, it feels like I’ve not left,” he told VillaTV.

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“I’m just delighted to be back, seeing some old faces, being back at the training ground, seeing the facilities and how well they’ve grown.

“You can see how much the club has evolved since my time and I’m just ready to get down to work now.”

Young, who won 39 England caps and travelled to Euro 2012 and the 2018 World Cup, joined Villa from Watford before leaving for Manchester United.

He won the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup and Europa League while at Old Trafford before moving to Inter – where he clinched the Serie A title last season – in January 2020.

Young, who can operate at full-back or on the wing, has made 369 Premier League appearances in total and had also been linked with Burnley or a return to Watford before opting for Villa Park.

“When I heard of the interest from Aston Villa, it was straight to my agent, ‘get a deal done, whatever you can, get a deal done’,” he added.

“I think someone said (about me), ‘he’s coming to the end of his career’, ‘he hasn’t got that hunger any more’, ‘he’s just going there for a swansong’…

“That’s not me at all, I’ve still got that winning mentality, that winners’ attitude, that desire and hunger to go and win.”

Villa finished 11th in the top flight last term having scraped survival on the final day of the 2019-20 campaign following promotion from the Sky Bet Championship.

Head coach Dean Smith said: “Ashley brings with him a wealth of experience of top-level football both at club and international level and he is joining having just won a league championship in Italy.

“He is a player who can play in a number of positions and, having spoken to him at length, I know he is determined to make a real impact with us this season.”