By Jonty Banks

10th Mar, 2023 | 8:10am

Aston Villa should offer Ashley Young contract extension as Matty Cash battle continues

Although Ashley Young is now 37 years old and in the twilight years of his career, Aston Villa should look to get the chequebook out and offer the right-back a contract extension.

The Englishman’s current deal at Villa Park expires at the end of the season, and talks are yet to surface about a possible extension despite his rich vein of form in the Premier League.

Young has been battling fellow full-back Matty Cash for a starting spot in Unai Emery’s starting line-up since the conclusion of the Qatar World Cup, and if anything, has won this bout with flying colours.

It wasn’t until Villa’s last two fixtures that Cash – who was thoroughly impressive with Poland at the World Cup – finally was restored to the team, highlighting that the evergreen Young is still competing at a level deserving of a new contract.

Much of the criticism thrown at the 37-year-old’s game has been his lack of attacking intent since the arrival of Emery, however when comparing the two full-backs, it is Young who remarkably comes out on top.

So far this season, Young has produced an average of 0.6 key passes per game compared to Cash’s 0.4 while also registering 0.4 shots on goal to his teammates 0.3 per match. [WhoScored]

To further this point, the 39-capped England international sits in the 67th percentile of full-backs for progressive passes over the last year with 4.33 every 90 minutes, whereas Cash has managed a still impressive 3.21. [FBREF]

Also, considering that Emery is likely to want to strengthen in numerous key areas of the pitch – notably a centre forward, a winger and a central midfielder – keeping Young at the club could save the club millions and mean they won’t have to dip into the transfer market for a new right-back.

If Young was to extend his contract at the club for another year, it would allow academy prospect Kaine Kesler-Hayden to develop his trade further on loan in the Championship before a natural succession was to take place the following season.

In other Aston Villa news, the club has been tipped to sign a new striker to aid their bid to return to European football.