Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has heaped praise on English duo Chris Smalling and Ashley Young as the Red Devils sit atop the Premier League.
The Dutch manager believes the two players have been vital in helping the Old Trafford club reach the summit of the table for the first time in two years.
Smalling has been a revelation under the former Holland boss while Young has enjoyed somewhat of a renaissance of his United career over the past 14 months.
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“Ashley Young is very important,” said van Gaal, as per the Mirror. “He is a team player and not many players are actually team players.
“He is always thinking of the team, and he can play in a lot of positions. For a manager it is fantastic that he is willing to do that.
“He came in as a right-back, he hadn't played there so much I believe, but the second goal started with him.
“I think that the player [Smalling], when he does things, he does it always by himself. I help him with advice, also with training sessions, demands, showing images to improve him, but he has to be open and he has to perform on the pitch.
“So he does everything himself. It is the greatest compliment you can give to Chris, and not me."
Young came on at right-back during Manchester United's 2-1 win against Wolfsburg last night - replacing the woeful Antonio Valencia - and produced a top class performance for a natural left-winger.
He has found starts harder to come by following the introduction on Memphis Depay, but the new contract he signed in the summer highlights his importance to Van Gaal.
Meanwhile, Smalling has become the best centre-back at Old Trafford and arguably one of the best in the division.
The Red Devils face Arsenal on Sunday in what is always a huge encounter - another win for the 20-time champions may fuel realistic ambitions of claiming their first title in the post-Ferguson era.
How important are Ashley Young and Chris Smalling to Manchester United? Have your say in the comments section below!
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