By Anthony Onifade

6th Apr, 2023 | 1:30pm

Ashley Young could be forcing himself into a new Aston Villa contract after strong performances

Aston Villa continued their magnificent resurgence under Unai Emery with an impressive win 2-1 win over Leicester City at the King Power on Tuesday night [4 April].

It was a result which saw them leapfrog Liverpool in the Premier League table and into the European conversation again, as the Villans recorded their tenth win in 16 Premier League games under the Spaniard.

Goals from Ollie Watkins and Bertrand Traore in Leicester stretched their unbeaten run to six games in the Premier League and while Watkins continued his hot streak in front of goal, Emery will have been delighted by the performance of his more experienced heads in Ashley Young.

Young, 37, rejoined the Villans in 2021 and despite his advancing years, he’s impressed this season and managed to play 24 times across all competitions.

The former Manchester United star has played at both left-back and right-back for the Villans but has seen his role decrease in recent weeks, with the Spaniard preferring Matty Cash.

However, in the Polish international’s absence after injury, the 37-year-old once again rolled back the years with a dominant performance up against Leicester City’s Harvey Barnes.

Starting his second consecutive game, there were questions over whether the 37-year-old could handle such a strain on his levels given the short rest between fixtures. But, the former Manchester United star delivered despite those doubts in a consummate and assured performance.

Earning a 7.2 Sofascore rating, of which only two other starters bettered, Young was ever-present in the play despite his age. The veteran, who may now be looking at a new Aston Villa contract after his one-year extension back in 2022, enjoyed 81 touches of the ball, which resulted in two key passes amidst mastering a tremendous 91% pass accuracy, via Sofascore.

Young also excelled in his defensive work too, registering impressive three clearances, two interceptions, one tackle and nine duels won.

They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but Emery will be reliant on the 37-year-old to keep up his rugged and vintage defensive efforts as Aston Villa look to secure an unprecedented European spot come the end of the season.

Emery has superbly transformed the Villa squad since his appointment in November, and will certainly be looking to revamp his squad this summer.

However, he could still do with Young’s experience, tactical versatility and know-how next season. A consummate professional.

In other Aston Villa news, Dan Bardell believes a loanee could consider a Villa Park exit this summer if he isn’t given first-team assurances next season.