Ex-Everton player Michael Ball has tipped Ashley Young to have a big impact at Goodison Park this season.

Michael Ball believes that Ashley Young can have a transformative effect for Everton, following his recent arrival on a free transfer.

Ball played for the Toffees for five seasons at the start of his career, between 1996 and 2001. The left-back made well over 100 appearances for the Merseyside club in all competitions in total. He has also credited then-Everton teammate Richard Gough with helping him to develop his game.

Writing for the Liverpool Echo, Ball says, “Richard Gough revolutionised the way I played after he came to Everton and hopefully Ashley Young can do something similar with the players in Sean Dyche’s squad…Goughy brought leadership and calmness. We weren’t in a great position as a football club at the time and it was probably a similar situation to what Ashley is walking into…I believe Ashley Young could be a very similar figure for this current Everton squad, especially with the youngsters.”

Everton v Sporting Lisbon - Pre-Season Friendly
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How Young can help Everton on and off the field

At 38-years-old, Young is certainly bringing plenty of experience with him to Everton. In his time with Manchester United, the 39-cap former England international won a Premier League title, and also won the FA Cup and Europa League. Young went on to enjoy a Serie A triumph during his stint with Inter Milan.

He has also previously experienced scrapping for survival during his career, in his time at Watford and first spell with Aston Villa. 

Sean Dyche will have considered what Young offers off the pitch as well as on it when making the decision to bring the veteran defender to the club. The manager will be looking for the leadership skills that Ball anticipates to come to the fore from Young this season. Those are the qualities Dyche will need in his squad if things are to improve for Everton.

There are plenty of youngsters at Everton who will benefit from Young’s guidance. The likes of Jarrad Branthwaite, Nathan Patterson, and James Garner could all learn from the example Young sets.

On the pitch, Young’s versatility will also be a bonus for the Toffees. He is very comfortable and reliable as a full-back on either flank and can play a more advanced role if required.

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