Aston Villa have confirmed that Ashley Young has signed a new one-year contract extension after his previous deal expired this summer.
The 36-year-old appeared to be on the verge of becoming a free agent as with his previous deal ending last month, there was no confirmation over his future at the club.
However, shortly after releasing a video showing the versatile stalwart return to report for pre-season training on Monday, Villa confirmed the news on his new contract.
As per the club’s official site, Young has put pen to paper on a one-year deal, and he spoke to VillaTV to discuss the reasons behind his decision to stay on at the club.
What Ashley Young said on new Villa contract
“It was the ambition of the Club, the manager, the staff and the players as well,” he told the VillaTV. “I got to know the staff and the players really well last season, and I wasn’t ready to go into retirement just yet.
“When I spoke to the manager towards the end of the season, he told me what he thought about me and that he wanted me to stay. He was a massive factor.
“I’ve loved every minute of it. It’s been a good journey, a bit up and down last season but when a new manager comes in halfway through the season it’s going to be tough.
“It was tough at times but we had good times as well and that was a factor in it. His ambition is to get us back into Europe, where I believe the Club should be.
“That was a massive draw for me. I’ve enjoyed every minute of working with the manager and I’m delighted to have signed another year to continue working with him.”
Why Young signing new deal is good news for Villa
Given the experience, pedigree and leadership that Young brings to this Villa squad, it was important to bring him back for another year.
Not only can he still provide a contribution himself when involved, but his influence on the younger players in the squad is vital and he’ll be an important resource for them moving forward.
Further, with his versatility allowing him to fill in in various roles, he will be a crucial option for Steven Gerrard through the course of the season with injuries and suspensions in mind as well as when trying to compete on multiple fronts, and so it’s a smart move to agree on new terms and keep him on for another year.