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'He's always been a winner' - Young backed to be Man Utd captain by former Aston Villa team-mate

11:25 AM EDT 7/24/19
Ashley Young Manchester United 2019-20
Nigel Reo-Coker thinks the defender's "strong personality" makes him the ideal candidate to take up leadership duties at Old Trafford

Manchester United full-back Ashley Young "should definitely be named captain" by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ahead of the upcoming season, according to his former Aston Villa team-mate Nigel Reo-Coker.

Young swapped Villa Park for Old Trafford back in 2011 and has since gone on to make 243 appearances for the Red Devils across all competitions.

The England international has picked up five major trophies at United, including one Premier League title, but he came under criticism for his displays in defence last season.

United shipped a whopping 54 league goals in total while slipping to a sixth-place finish in the top flight, missing out on a place in the Champions League.

Young's lowest point came during a European Cup quarter-final second-leg clash against Barcelona when his mistake allowed Lionel Messi to score a decisive goal en route to the last four of the competition.

Despite a difficult year, the veteran right-back is favourite to inherit the captain's armband for the 2019-20 campaign, succeeding Antonio Valencia in the role after he left the club in June.

Supporters booed Young as he replaced new signing Aaron Wan-Bissaka during a pre-season win over Inter on Saturday , with the youngster expected to challenge for a regular role in Solskjaer's starting XI.

Reo Coker, who played with Young at Villa between 2007 and 2011, feels his old team-mate is still the best choice to lead United going forward, as he told AmericanGambler.com : "I think that he should definitely be named captain; he’s done well.

'I think what United fans need to understand and be realistic with is that they’re not the Man Utd of old, it’s a time for a change and the changing of the guard.

"I know Youngy is very passionate about winning and he’s always been a winner from times at Aston Villa and even times at Watford and I think that’s the type of character that you need.

"I think that he has been unfairly criticised at Manchester United, but he knows what it is, he can take it; he’s a very strong man.

"He’s a strong personality, he’s mentally strong and you have to be at that club and play at that level and I think that’s definitely the type of player that you need. Someone that has played in England, has played for the national team, someone that has been there and done that."

The Red Devils won both of their matches during a tour of Australia at the start of July, before dispatching Inter at the International Champions Cup over the weekend.

Next up is a clash against Tottenham on Thursday , before fixtures against Kristiansund and AC Milan wrap up their preparations for the new season.

Solskjaer's side will kick off their latest Premier League campaign at home to Chelsea on August 11, with a tough trip to Wolves on the horizon a week later.