Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has credited Patrice Evra with helping to bring the best out of new signing Ashley Young.
Young has begun his Old Trafford career in superb fashion, scoring two goals and registering four assists in United's opening three Barclays Premier League games of the season.
However, Ferguson is of the belief that while Young has excelled since his move from Aston Villa, he owes it in part to his left-sided teammate.
"Some players come to a club like ours and find it difficult to settle in but Ashley has done exceptionally well," said the United boss.
"He is versatile and has a good understanding of the game. He is getting great support from Evra on the left-hand side. The great experience Patrice brings is very important for a player coming to our club."
The 26-year-old contribution thus far makes him the ideal long-term replacement for Ryan Giggs, who is in the twilight of his career at the 19-time league champions, and Ferguson is thrilled with his immediate impact.
"We tried to get him when he was at Watford but were just a bit late. He has matured at Aston Villa and his form last season was fantastic considering they had a difficult year. Since he has come to us, he has taken the challenge very well," he said.
During the trip to the Reebok Stadium this season, goalkeeper David De Gea faces perhaps his biggest challenge yet in the face of the physical approach of Kevin Davies and Bolton Wanderers.
The Spanish Under-21 international has endured a difficult start to his career in England, and Ferguson hopes referee Andre Marriner protects De Gea from the rough treatment he's likely to receive.
"There is nothing wrong with that," said Ferguson. "That is part of the challenge. Each game that comes along is a new experience for him.
"He actually did very well at West Brom in the sense of dealing with it but he didn't get the protection from the referee at the time. We expect him to get better protection than that."
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