Ashley Young’s eight-and-a-half year stint at Manchester United came to an end in January 2020 as he joined Inter Milan after showdown talks with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ashley Young will return to Old Trafford for the first time since he stormed out of Manchester United in January last year as Aston Villa come calling on Saturday afternoon.
Young racked up 261 appearances during eight-and-a-half seasons with the Red Devils, winning the Premier League in 2013 and three other major honours.
The Englishman was a winger for the majority of his career before he was moulded into a full-back towards the end of his lengthy stint at United.
Young made 41 appearances in all competitions during his final full season with the club, but he decided he had to leave after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer informed him he would not be playing regularly.
Solskjaer was appointed as manager permanently in March 2019 after a stint as caretaker – and 10 months later Young’s United career was over.
“Obviously being in England all my life, it was a totally different change, but it was an experience that I jumped at,” said Young of his move to Inter last summer.
“It was an opportunity for me to go and play regularly. I spoke to Ole and he said that I wasn’t going to play as much as I wanted to.
“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.
“Ole said that he was going to bring younger players through and that I wasn’t going to have as many opportunities.”
Young may have felt hard done by with his treatment under Solskjaer given his many years of loyal service at United.
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But he enjoyed a successful 18-month stint with Inter, reaching the 2020 Europa League final and making 26 appearances as the Nerazzurri won Serie A last season.
Young opened up on his decision to join Inter in May, declaring he “made the right decision” by forcing an exit after his showdown talks with Solskjaer.
The 36-year-old told Sky Sports: “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.
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“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.
“Going out there and making that decision, I think it was the best one I made.”
Young left Inter at the expiry of his contract this summer and he was tipped to return to Watford, where he came through the academy ranks, before sealing a return to another of his former clubs, Villa.
The versatile veteran has been used in a variety of midfield and defensive roles under Dean Smith, making five appearances in all competitions this season.