Ashley Young: Everton sign full-back on one-year deal

Source: BBC

Everton have signed free agent Ashley Young on a one-year deal after the full-back left Aston Villa this summer.

Young, 38, becomes Everton’s first signing under manager Sean Dyche and has joined the club on their pre-season training camp in Switzerland.

BBC Sport understands Young had held talks with Luton, while there was also interest from Saudi Arabia.

“I am delighted to be an Everton player and to have joined this massive club,” former England player Young said.

“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.”

Former Burnley boss Dyche took over in January, replacing the sacked Frank Lampard, and guided the club to Premier League survival on the final day of the season.

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.”

Winger-turned-defender Young won the Europa League and League Cup with Manchester United and earned 39 England caps, playing in the 2018 World Cup semi-final defeat by Croatia.

Young has played over 700 career games for club and country, including 32 appearances for Villa last season, and will provide experience to an Everton side that narrowly escaped relegation the past two seasons.

Young added: “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’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.”

On Monday, the Toffees travelled to Switzerland for a five-day training camp in the Alps where they will face second-division side Stade Nyonnais on Friday.

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