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Report: £50,000-a-week Aston Villa ace almost started in a surprise position in Gerrard's first game

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According to a report from The Athletic, Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard was really impressed with Ashley Young in training in his first week in charge.

Gerrard was appointed as the new Villa manager last week and the excitement around the club has been really high since. The Englishman took charge of his first game over the weekend and he started off with a win.

Villa looked really good from the first minute. It looked like every player was full of energy and knew exactly what their role was. Gerrard’s team selection seemed pretty straightforward, but the report claims that he had a few dilemmas.

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One of them was if he should start Ashley Young.

Ashley Young has really impressed Gerrard

Every Aston Villa player would’ve given their all in training to impress Gerrard in his first week at the club. The most impressive ones usually get on the team sheet, and the report claims that Young was really close.

The £50,000-a-week man, now 36, has started just four games this season. He has filled in at both full-back positions, in central midfield and on the left flank, but Gerrard had a different plan for him.

The report claims that the new Villa boss was so impressed with Young that he almost gave him a start in the number 10 position against Brighton on Saturday.

After his impact coming off the bench against the Seagulls, that could well be his role going forward.

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When did Young last play as a number 10?

Young is as versatile as they come and it is no surprise that managers have him in their minds for various roles. However, Gerrard wanting him as a 10 really is a surprise as he has barely played in that position over the years.

According to Transfermarkt, Young has played just four times in attacking midfield in his entire career. All four appearances, ironically, came for Aston Villa, but it was during his previous spell at the club over a decade ago.

The last time Young played in a number 10 role was in February 2011 against Manchester United. Villa lost that game 3-1 and he hasn’t been given an attacking midfield role since.

That, however, could change under Gerrard in the coming weeks and months.

Photo by Neville Williams./Aston Villa FC via Getty Images
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