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Steven Gerrard explains why Ashley Young deserves starts at 36

Steven Gerrard Ashley Young

Still going strong.

Steven Gerrard has explained why Ashley Young was deserving of his start against Crystal Palace on Saturday afternoon.

Gerrard’s Aston Villa side won 2-1, thanks to goals from Matt Targett and John McGinn, making it two wins from two for the new manager.

It was a confident and comfortable performance from Villa, who look like a team reborn under Gerrard, who took over after the club had lost five games in a row.

Young was at the heart of the win on Saturday, registering an assist for the first goal, and putting in a great shift in general.

This assist meant that Young has recorded more assists in the Premier League for Villa than any other player.

Steven Gerrard on Ashley Young

Speaking about his former England teammate, he said: “He’s been brilliant since I walked in the door.

“I expected nothing else. I’ve played with Ashley I know what his standards and his levels are like, but he deserved the start today.

“He earned that start. I thought he came in last week and did really well. He’s trained well and backed that up. Everything we’ve asked for, to the letter, he has done.”

Young’s start came at the expense of some really talented footballers, with Danny Ings and Emi Buendia both left on the bench. Gerrard has clearly made the decision to give everyone a clean slate, and it’s paying off.

Steven Gerrard Ashley Young

Since coming back to the club, Young has already played in a number of positions, showcasing his versatility and experience.

Gerrard has played him in both central midfield and as a wide attacking option, while Dean Smith opted to play him at left wing-back at times.

At 36 years of age, it is quite impressive to see such a veteran of the game still performing at such a high level.

If Villa are to climb up the table, we wouldn’t be surprised to see Young’s experience play an important part.

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