Regardless of how Young and Jones are received it is somewhat assuring to see a statement so early on, a sign that United are not content with neither a runner’s up Champions League medal, nor the record breaking 19th domestic crown. Far from standing still these signings are a cry that’ll have been heard the football world over, United are not done just yet.
With Fergie obviously keen on building on the “home grown” talent at the club, you have to wonder if Young and Jones realise how much these fairytale move means to their respective futures?
Think for a moment if you would of an England squad from this century. In fact, until recently, if you look at any England team fielded over the last 10 years, the United presence is one of the only constant and positive features. I remember not too long ago reading down a team sheet that boasted 4 United starters, with a supporting cast of players made up of other teams with a fairly even spread.
That to me was a sign of United’s true dominance of English football.
For a while, I would imagine it was easy to switch between club and country duty as there would be a core of familiar faces and they simply had to play their football. This allowed for partnerships to form and with that came an assured level of understanding that no doubt spread throughout the dressing room weather the task was a home game, away at Norwich or half way across the world in Seoul.
Regardless of the competition, whether playing for England or the Reds, Neville knew when to over lap on the wing with Beckham, Beckham knew where Scholes would be, Scholes broke into the box if Andy Cole went wide! Well that time may be upon us again.
With the European Championship around the corner we could easily be seeing the same dynamic between Ferdinand, Young, Carrick and Rooney. Once that’s over, the World Cup 2014 will be the next hot ticket, by which time the old guard of Ferdinand and Terry may be on their way out of the England set up at 36 and 34, leaving a wide berth for Smalling and Jones at 23 and 25 respectively as well as Welbeck and Cleverley.
It has to be said that regardless of the manager, there is traditionally a “Big 4” bias with regards to England selection so it’s now or never for all the England hopefuls at United.
Looking forward to the next European Championship you feel what happens this coming season will set the trend for Young’s England career. How often have you found yourself screaming for any left footed player to be put on England’s left wing, instead of flinging Heskey out wide? Young for instance is right footed, has carefully cultured his left and is more than capable of playing attacking positions from the left, right or down the middle. We know he has the ability to beat players with skill and speed and he can play the right ball into the box, yet we still find him way down the pecking order, being used as an impact sub for his country, gaining a measly 15 caps in almost 4 years as a senior.
With no disrespect to Villa or Rovers, playing for United is a step up for Young and Jones alike.
Playing for United is almost a calling card to England managers who seem to find it exceedingly difficult to justify fielding a spritely young player, who is used to playing left wing week in week out, over sticking Gerrard out there in a “free role”. I’ll be very surprised if Young continues primarily making appearances off the bench in an England shirt now that he plays in the Red of United.
When you look at the partnership already forming between Smalling and Jones at U-21 level, you immediately understand the rational behind Fergie’s decision to bring Jones into the club and quickly. If not, I ask, are you really going to sit there and second guess the most successful football manager of all time? The prospect of doing the same between Rooney and Young must have been equally tantalising from the very moment a move for Young was first rumoured.
Well, as always Fergie got his man in the end. With the tour of America coming up soon, we may be in for a treat this summer and a hint at how Man United are going to set up next term.
What do you think are going to be the key partnerships next season?