This is not exactly how I wanted to start a Monday after a bad away performance, but Ashley Young has been linked to Everton. There are a few things to consider when looking at this potential deal, and whether it would be a good idea for the Toffees.
Playing largely as a fullback, Young had 0.5 open play key passes per 90 minutes last season in limited minutes, and completed 71% of this tackles. He completed just under half his dribbles and had 1.5 possession losses per 90. These numbers are respectable, and there might be something to the idea that he could start in place of Seamus Coleman until the Irishman is fit, and then back up Leighton Baines and Coleman for the rest of the year.
But the real question we need to ask ourselves is how much money are we willing to spend on a player who is behind Matteo Darmian in a defensive rotation? When we say ‘limited minutes’ above, we are talking about a player who couldn’t crack 800 league minutes for a Manchester United team that played 64 games (!!) in winning two cup competitions and thus needed to rotate as often as possible. He was not getting minutes in a way that reflect trust in his abilities from his team.
Now, the easy thing would be to cite here that Jose Mourinho is an obtuse belligerent hate-monger who is unfair to his players, and while this is true, this doesn’t explain the fact that the year before Jose got there, previous manager Louis van Gaal halved Young’s minutes from where they’d been in 2014-2015.
We’re looking at a 32-year-old player who is absolutely past it, and our back line is old enough as it is without putting more senility into the mix.
So, in honour of that, here’s thirty-two ways Everton can say ‘No’ to the arrival of Ashley Young, one for every year he is old.
- English: “No”
- Spanish: “No”
- Greek: “O’hi” (We don’t recommend this one, he might misunderstand and think we want him)
- Welsh: “Nage”
- Klingon: “Ghobe” (You could also tell him his mother has a smooth forehead: ‘Hab Slosli Quch’ which would leave him so insulted he doesn’t want to come... theoretically)
- Michael Scott:
7. Arsene Wenger: “I’d rather have Nacho Monreal. (If you think I am the problem I am sorry)”
8. Arsenal fans: “Wenger Out”
9. Gerard Pique:
10. Dikembe Mutombo:
11. Sindarin: “Ú”
13. School Principal: “What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.”
14. Luke Skywalker:
15. Athletic Bilbao: “You aren’t Basque.”
16. Letting him down easy: “It’s not you, it’s me.”
17. Honest: “No, it’s really you.”
Inara: What did I say about signing Ashley Young?
Mal: That it was manly and impulsive?
Inara: Yes, precisely. Only the exact phrase I used was "don't".
20. Marvel: “I am Groot.”
21. Survivor: “The Tribe has Spoken”
22. Britain’s Got Talent:
23. Shakespeare: “More of your conversation would infect my brain.”
24. Pirate: “I am disinclined to acquiesce to your request.”
25. Miracle Max: “Beat it or I’ll call the Brute Squad.”
26. President Donald Trump: “You’re Fired”
27. Reality TV Donald Trump: “You’re Fired”
28. Shark Tank:
29. Great Britain:
30. Swansea: “He’s not for sale.” (Not recommended, this strategy tends to fold like a cheap suit resulting in Everton having the player.)
31. Royal Blue Mersey: “An obnoxiously long post filled with equally obnoxious random references from outdated pop culture and strange languages.”
32. Jordan Pickford: