By Henry Okonkwo
Aston Villa have re-signed Ashley Young as the 35-year-old plans to compete for a place in Dean Smith’s starting XI next season.
Young said he was determined to play a crucial role in Aston Villa’s pursuit of European football next season after rejoining the club from Inter Milan on an initial one-year deal.
Following Villa’s record signing of Emiliano Buendia from Norwich City earlier this month, Young is the second player to be signed this summer after he became only the third Englishman to win Italy’s top-flight league title in history last season.
Young disclosed that immediately he heard about Villa’s interest in re-signing him, he began packing his bags for a return to a club he has so many fond memories playing for.
Young said, “It feels amazing to be back, it feels like I’ve not left.
“You can see how much the club has evolved since my time and I’m just ready to get down to work now. When I heard of the interest from Aston Villa, it was straight to my agent, ‘get a deal done, whatever you can, get a deal done.
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“I’m just delighted to be back, seeing some old faces, being back at the training ground, seeing the facilities and how well they’ve grown.”
After leaving the club in 2011, Young has gone on to win the Premier League, FA Cup, League Cup, Europa League and more recently the Serie A.
He said, “I’ve still got that winning mentality, that winners’ attitude, that desire and hunger to go and win.
“Watching from afar, seeing the squad, how well they did last season, how well they’ve been doing.
“The staff, the manager, how the players want to play for him; they’ve got that hunger, he’s got that desire, that winning mentality. And, for me, I know I’ve got that winning mentality.”
Young’s first game back in the Premier League could come against another old club of his, Watford, as Villa kick-off their 2021/22 campaign at Vicarage Road on August 14.