Ashley Young has become Everton’s first signing of the summer on a free transfer, agreeing a one-year deal until the end of June 2024.
The former England international, who has 39 caps for the Three Lions, adds valuable experience and versatility to Sean Dyche’s squad and arrives boasting a trophy-laden career which has included winning the Premier League, Serie A, Europa League, FA Cup and League Cup.
With the ability to play on either wing in the first part of his career at Watford and Aston Villa, Young developed into a wing-back and full-back during nine years at Manchester United – where he was appointed club captain in 2019 – before moving on to Inter Milan and becoming only the third Englishman to win Italy’s top-flight title.
A regular starter at left wing-back alongside new Everton teammate Jordan Pickford in England’s run to the World Cup semi-finals in 2018, Young returned to Villa Park in 2021 and spent a further two years with the Midlands club until the expiry of his contract in June.
Young has made 422 Premier League appearances and ranks 15th in the competition’s all-time assists with 71.
After moving to Everton to work with Dyche, who captained Young when the new signing was a teenager at Watford, the 38-year-old told evertontv: “I’m delighted to be an Everton player and to have joined this massive club. I can’t wait for the season to start and walking out at Goodison Park is going to be an unbelievable feeling and to hear the passionate fans behind me.
“The manager was important in me signing. I know him and know what his passion and desire is like. His honesty, will to work hard and his hunger for the game is second to none.
“I know things haven’t gone too well for Everton in the past couple of seasons but the manager’s ambition, speaking to him and hearing what he wants to do to change the Club around, was a key factor in my decision.
“The other is the size of Everton. It’s a massive club and the fanbase is one of the best. Having them behind me is a fantastic opportunity. I’m delighted to get the opportunity to be here and I just want to get started now.”
Young recorded impressive statistics as a regular at full-back for Aston Villa last season, playing 29 Premier League matches – starting 23 times – as Unai Emery’s side finished seventh.
His 75.5 per cent tackle success ranked him among the highest three per cent for his position across Europe’s top five leagues.
The defender also featured in the top 11 per cent for shots blocked and the highest 14 per cent for clearances.
On his maiden signing as Everton manager, Dyche said: “Ashley is a top-class professional whose record of team and personal achievements during a successful career make him an excellent addition to our squad.
“I’ve known Ashley for many years, having been his captain when he first broke through at Watford, and his qualities both on and off the pitch will prove valuable.
“His impressive statistics from last season, which were among some of the best in Europe, highlight what he can bring to Everton.”
Eager to showcase his ability at Everton, Young added: “I think there are a lot of qualities I can bring to the team and that’s why the Club went out of their way to sign me. I just want to get down to work and show the qualities I’ve got. Wherever the manager needs me, I know I can go and do a job at a high level.
“I’ve always said age is just a number for me. I feel as fit as I ever have done – even than when I was younger. Whenever the manager calls upon me, I’m going to be fit and ready to go.
“I hope to use my experience in the squad, too. For me, I’ve been there and done it and if I can lend a voice to a younger player, that’s fantastic.
“When you go on that pitch, there is one captain but there are 11 leaders. Everyone is on the pitch to do a job and everyone has got a voice. It’s about helping each other out, having a good team spirit and winning games.”