Football

Arsenal should rescue United reject in January

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There's few problems you highlight with the current Arsenal squad, without exposing yourself as being a supporter of one of their Premier League rivals.

The predicted woes that would harry them throughout the course of the season have proven themselves to be issues that Arsene Wenger's charges have swept aside, and, with the exception of the anomaly that was their opening game of the season, there's only been one game which has exposed any reason for concern within Arsene Wenger's ranks.

The Capital One Cup tie against Chelsea wasn't a monumental fixture in terms of what either side stood to win or lose, but in being a competition which is traditionally used for managers to give their best players a much-needed rest, it was significant in the way that it highlighted a potential flaw in Arsenal's set-up.

Put plainly, they're lack of quality in depth is something that's there for all to see when the squad is assessed from a neutral angle. Their subs bench might hold three or four players who can feel hard done by to be missing out on game-time, but beyond that the team could oh so easily find themselves in danger when the inevitable period dawns on them where they lose a number of players to injury and suspension.

It's a problem that's solved easily enough, but it's also one that Wenger will know he needs to take seriously if they are to sustain a year-long title tilt.

So when looking at potential squad additions that won't upset the balance of the team or cost an arm and a leg, it's important that the right players are chosen, and for the right reasons. It's also important to remember the notion that read fairly similar to the old 'one man's trash is another man's treasure' saying in that players who are considered outcasts at one side can easily become stalwarts at another.

Enter Manchester United flop Ashley Young.

Though there are many criticisms you can have of the Red Devils' winger, there's also a fair few points that serve as evidence to backup the case that he may not be as done and dusted in top flight football as most tabloids would have you believe.

Is his career at Old Trafford arriving at an imminent conclusion? Yes. Has he done enough in his career to suggest he can still mix it with the best? Also yes.

Call me optimistic but I fall on the outnumbered side of the border that believes Young may actually have enough left in him to prove himself at the highest level, and it's predominantly for this reason that I believe Wenger should consider targeting him in January.

As aforementioned he is virtually on the brink of being forcefully thrown through the exit door and so will be available for a negligent amount compared to what he arrived for. On top of that he is a player who has experience at the highest level and has, in the past, shown glimpses of the player many thought he would become under Sir Alex Ferguson.

Young has for the most part encompassed the brunt of the backlash garnered by what has been a poor start to the club's first season under David Moyes, but he remains a versatile player who on his day is capable of giving full-backs the run around.

If signed as a squad player Young could provide versatility, being able to play in the centre, on the wing as well as upfront, and he would offer the ability to call upon another option when things don't necessarily go the Gunners' way.

There's also the chance that he could turn out to be a player who only truly proves his worth when the pressure he is under to perform is lifted and a change of scenery instigates an improvement in form.

It may well be that Arsene Wenger could take Young and change his fortunes, and at 28 you would bank on their being time enough left to do so.

For what's sure to be heavily cut-price, Wenger should seek to bring in Young as a player who at the very least would serve as an experienced substitute, and at best could become a figure who revitalises his career and excels in alternative surroundings.

He might be below the likes of Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Lukas Podolski in the pecking order, but fans should remember what inspired Sir Alex to pay close to £20million for him when he was simply a winger who was lighting up Villa Park.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Ashley Young
Manchester United
Arsenal

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