English Premiership

United sign Villa's Young

2011-06-23 15:40
Ashley Young (File)

Manchester - England winger Ashley Young became Manchester United's second major signing of the off-season on Thursday when he joined the Premier League champions on a five-year deal.

The 25-year-old Young is reported in the British media to have cost United £17 million, even though he had only 12 months left on his contract at Villa.

"It's a prospect I always looked at from being a child - to play for one of the biggest clubs in the world," he told United's in-house TV channel. "I've got that opportunity now so I've just got to take it with two hands."

United manager Alex Ferguson has already signed England under-21 defender Phil Jones from Blackburn this summer for a reported £16 million.

Capped 15 times by England and able to play on either wing as well as in a central position behind the strikers, Young will add further strength to United's attacking options.

He will compete with Portugal winger Nani, Ecuador international Antonio Valencia and former South Korea star Park Ji-Sung for a place in the first team as United looks to add to its record haul of 19 English league titles.

"It's a chance to hopefully become part of history by helping to win the 20th title," Young said.

The signing of Young was welcomed by United center back Rio Ferdinand, who described his England teammate in a Twitter post on Thursday as "another top, hungry (and) young player."

The move to Old Trafford represents a major step-up in the career of a player who wasn't a regular member of the England squad until last year. He failed to make his country's squad for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.

Young is an established performer in the Premier League, though, scoring 30 goals in 193 appearances in his four seasons with Villa. United said only Arsenal playmaker Cesc Fabregas has provided more assists than Young in the league over the last five seasons.

Ferguson is having to fill the gaps left in his squad following the retirement of veteran pair Paul Scholes and Edwin van der Sar at the end of last season.

The Scottish coach has already declared an interest in 20-year-old Atletico Madrid goalkeeper David de Gea as a replacement for Van der Sar.

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