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Solskjaer’s ruthless message to Young paved the way for transfer

Ashley Young will make his first return to Old Trafford since leaving Manchester United when Aston Villa make the jaunt up the M6 today.

Young isn’t expected to start against his former club after captaining a weakened team in the Carabao Cup exit to Chelsea on penalties during the week.

But the 36-year-old will most probably be part of Dean Smith’s travelling squad having featured in four of Villa’s five Premier League games this term.

Young enjoyed almost nine years at United after leaving Villa in an £18million transfer back in 2011.

The ex-Watford winger played his part in the Red Devils’ last Premier League title win in 2013 and featured regularly under a string of managers, including current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer initially.

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In his final six months with United, Young played 12 times in the league for Solskjaer before receiving the message every player dreads.

“I spoke to Ole and he said that I wasn’t going to play as much as I wanted to,” Young has previously said when asked to explain his transfer to Inter Milan in January 2020.

“When you’re coming towards the end of your career, you want to be playing as much as you can. I’m as fit as anyone, and I feel like I’ve still got a lot to give.

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“Ole said that he was going to bring younger players through and that I wasn’t going to have as many opportunities.”

Young was rewarded for his bold move to Inter and helped them claim the Serie A title last season before returning to Villa.

The ex-England international also started in Inter’s Europa League final defeat to Sevilla in August 2020.

“It’s obviously nice to win the Premier League and then to go to a new league and win that as well is just incredible, an unbelievable feeling,” Young said.

“It’s never easy to leave a club in January, but I’m looking back now and I think I made the right decision. I always wanted to go out and win. I’ve got that ambition, drive and desire to win.

“Obviously the first season we got to the Europa League final which unfortunately we lost. We also lost the league by one point and I think that might have spurred us on for this season to go out and get ourselves a trophy and win Serie A.”

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