Ashley Young has shed light on a long-standing connection with manager Sean Dyche, revealing that Dyche had been eager to sign him much earlier than their recent reunion at Goodison Park, relays the Everton.News. In an interview with Sky Sports, Young discussed his history with Dyche and the respect he holds for his former teammate turned manager.
The relationship between Ashley Young and Sean Dyche goes way back. While Young has continued to play professional football after a distinguished career with some of England’s biggest clubs, Dyche has transitioned into management, becoming one of the most prominent figures in English football.
However, what may come as a surprise to many is that Young and Dyche were once teammates on the field. As Dyche approached the end of his playing career, Young was emerging from Watford’s youth system, and their paths intersected for two years.
Fast forward 18 years, and the former Manchester United star found himself signing for Everton, reuniting with his former teammate turned manager, Dyche.
Young’s arrival at Everton was met with some skepticism from fans who believed he might be ‘past it.’ Nevertheless, Young has proven his worth by maintaining a regular spot in the team, starting in all seven of their Premier League matches.
It’s clear that Dyche holds Young in high regard, and his interest in signing the veteran defender dates back to his tenure at Burnley. Young shared his thoughts on working with Dyche, stating, “It’s brilliant for me. I knew when I was younger, you look at certain players and you wonder which ones are going to be managers, and you could tell the way he had the leadership skills and the way he would come in the dressing room; he would have respect from every player there.”
Young further revealed that Dyche had attempted to sign him a few years ago, showcasing the mutual respect between the two.
Young’s consistent presence in the Everton lineup reflects the trust that Dyche places in him. Despite a few errors, Young’s performance this season hasn’t been any worse than most of his Everton teammates. However, it also highlights the Toffees’ need for quality reinforcements in defensive positions, as players like Vitaliy Mykolenko and Nathan Patterson have also been underwhelming this season.
It remains to be seen whether Dyche will continue to rely on Young, as he has shown a degree of stubbornness in his team selections, such as persisting with James Garner out wide and taking time to make changes like dropping Michael Keane earlier in the season. Nevertheless, Young’s experience and commitment make him a valuable asset to Everton under Dyche’s management.