Writer: J P Fear
Date:Wednesday January 24 2007
Watford manager Adrian Boothroyd says Ashley Young will 'kick on again' following his mega money move to Aston Villa.
Boothroyd said: 'The main reason I think he can really thrive where he is going and kick on again is because of his mental capabilities and because of the manager of the club he's going to. I have a great deal of time and respect for Martin O'Neill. I think he's a listener, I think he's a players' type of man and manager, and I think anybody who goes to the club he is in charge of is very, very lucky.' Adding 'I think he is worth the transfer fee. He might even be a bargain. Time will tell whether he's worth it or not, but my opinion would be 'yes' and if Villa hadn't paid it, somebody else would have.'
'It's not as if just one club have been in for him - I've had seven inquiries about him from Premiership clubs. That's a big pat on the back for Ashley. I think it's all about talent, and it's about being thrown in at the deep end and being able to cope with it. He is a very strong kid, very disciplined, the ultimate professional and he is going to have a very good career.'
Former England, QPR, Spurs and Newcastle (amongst others!) striker Les Ferdinand (who so very nearly joined when Brian Little was in charge at Villa) says Ashley Young can make a huge impact at Villa.
Ferdinand worked with Young at Watford last season and says 'If Ashley plays how he knows he can play, that fee will look like a snip. And if he harnesses his ability in the right way he can have as big an impact at Villa as (Cristiano) Ronaldo has had at United. They were talking very highly of him even then, but I thought he looked a little lightweight and a little too thin to make it in the Premiership.'
'However, when I saw him play I realised he wouldn't have a problem making the grade. When you saw him in training, and in matches, you knew he was a bit special.' Adding 'Ashley was definitely the pick of the bunch at Watford last season. One thing I like when I watch young players is to see their hunger for the game and his appetite for football is great. After training he was always out there practising his free-kicks and working on his crossing. And he's versatile as well in that he can play on the right-side of midfield or just behind the frontmen. I've also seen him play on the left-hand side and up front.'
Martin O'Neill said: 'Obviously I'm delighted to have signed Ashley. I think that he's got fantastic potential and, while we all could do with instant success, I think that over the years he will prove to be a really good player. I don't think he should start worrying about what was paid for him, his job is just to go and perform on the field and I think he's capable of doing that. I know a lot about his ability and I'll back my judgement on it. He's a really good player and I think he's got a definite chance of moving his career into the international arena.'
Adding: 'He can play both flanks and he can play alongside the centre-forward. I think he is an exciting player and has got a great touch, great control, plus a wee bit of pace. I am excited with his signing for us. I have seen a lot of him and I have backed my judgment. I think he will prove to be terrific value.'
Date:Wednesday January 24 2007
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