While he is now an experienced defender in Steven Gerrard’s side, Aston Villa fans will fondly remember Ashley Young’s previous spell at the club, where he was a flying winger who regularly contributed goals and assists.
Across both spells with the Villans, Young has contributed an impressive 37 goals and 61 assists in 219 appearances, although the 37-year-old’s days of driving forward and cutting inside are probably over, as he usually operates as a full-back when playing these days.
However, Villa could find a winger similar to the Young of old in academy star Tyreik Wright, with the 20-year-old enjoying a strong start to life with Bradford City.
Wright joined Villa from Irish side Lakewood Athletic in 2018 and has been a prominent part of Villa’s academy sides in the four years since, making 39 appearances for the U21s, in which he has contributed an impressive six goals and seven assists.
After some disappointing spells with Walsall, Colchester United and Salford in League Two in recent seasons, which have resulted in just two goals and three assists across two seasons, Wright looks to have found his feet under Mark Hughes at Bradford City.
Does Wright have a future at Villa?
Saturday saw the 20-year-old make his first start for the Bantams and he marked it in style, scoring and assisting in a 3-0 win over high-flying Stevenage.
Hughes was full of praise for Wright when he signed for the club, saying:
“Tyreik is a player who looks to make things happen, and one we are pleased to be bringing to the club for the remainder of the season.
“At 20, he is young, driven and determined to succeed, and has traits to his play which will benefit our squad.
“He has a great turn of pace, trickery and technical ability and – with three goals for Republic of Ireland’s U21 side – a clear eye for goal.”
Wright can play on either wing and Gerrard will undoubtedly be keeping a close eye on his performances throughout the season, with the hope that he can return to have an impact on Villa’s first team in the future.
If he can find some goalscoring form in the Premier League, then there seems little reason why he can’t emulate an embryonic Young at Villa Park in the future.