Young hits back at 'struggle' jibe of Man Utd legend Keane

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The former Red Devils midfielder has questioned the defensive value of a makeshift left-back, but the experienced performer feels he is doing fine

Ashley Young has responded to comments from Roy Keane suggesting that Manchester United will “struggle” with him in a defensive role.

The Red Devils have faced something of a left-back headache in recent times, with none of the options available to them having nailed down the position.

In the 2016-17 campaign, Jose Mourinho regularly asked players to play out of position in order to plug a gap, with Young among those to have been shifted into an unfamiliar post.

The 32-year-old has impressed when called upon, but United legend Keane has still questioned the value of makeshift defenders in an ambitious side.

He told ITV: "They haven't sorted out the defensive problems they have had over the last few years and that will continue.

"The two centre-halves need to do better. I've always thought with Ashley Young in your back four, you are going to struggle."

Young has turned a deaf ear to the criticism, with United’s defensive unit as a whole having seen their contribution questioned of late.

A man who made his name as a tricky winger feels he has performed admirably at the back, with his efforts having been enough to earn an England recall in November.

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He will continue to do his job for as long as he is required, with his latest appearance once again seeing him fill in at full-back – this time on the right in a 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round win over Huddersfield.

Young said after that contest, with Keane’s words still fresh in his mind: “I think a lot has been said about defenders – a lot was said last week – and it’s one of those things.

“Everyone’s entitled to their opinion. Keep getting clean sheets and hopefully we can chip in with goals as well as the front boys.”