Young: Valencia currently best winger in league

Manchester United's flying winger Ashley Young has branded his colleague Antonio Valencia the best winger in the division, and highlights the importance of experience in his first title challenge.

Currently in the headlines for all the wrong reasons, the former Watford and Aston Villa trickster took time to credit his team-mates, when speaking to the club's official website.

Winning two penalties in his side's last two home games, Young has been criticised for going to ground too easily in a bid to con the referee.

What has developed is a reopening of the 'diving' debate, with pundits, managers and even fellow professionals having their say.

Young has enjoyed a fairly successful debut season at United, scoring important goals at Tottenham Hotspur and sealing a crucial three points at Ewood Park. He has netted seven goals in total for United this term.

Yet, it is Valencia who has stolen the limelight in the second half of the season. Bagging four goals and 13 assists, Valencia has been an unstoppable force down the right flank this season, and Young agrees that he is the best winger in the country at this present moment.

"I don't think there's been a better winger this season. He's like a steam train when he's running at defenders. He's so strong and his delivery is brilliant," said the England international.

United are fortunate to have a wealth of quality on both wings, whoever manager Sir Alex Ferguson decides to start, with Ryan Giggs, Nani and Park Ji-Sung all ready to play their part in another title run-in.

Having such a pool of options to select from, Young admits the strong battle for a first-team place leads to a good selection dilemma for the manager, adding:

"When you've got Giggsy, Antonio, Nani and Ji around you know you need to be on your toes, training well and, when you get your chance, delivering for the team."

Moreover, in the Hertfordshire-born winger's first season challenging for major silverware, Young rates the presence of many experienced campaigners in the United dressing room as a key factor which has seen them leapfrog Manchester City in recent months and march towards a record-breaking 20th league title.

"Having players like Giggsy, Scholesy [Paul Scholes], Rio [Ferdinand], [Michael] Carrick and [Patrice] Evra has been vitally important, especially for the younger ones," said Young.

After being left out of Fabio Capello's 2010 World Cup squad, he will hope to be a prominent figure in England's major tournament campaign this summer in Poland and Ukraine.

By James Savundra


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