Belfast Telegraph

Monday 29 December 2014

Bent: Villa will cope if Young goes

Ashley Young
Ashley Young

Striker Darren Bent insists Aston Villa will be able to compensate for the loss of Ashley Young.

Young is expected to join Manchester United in the next few days, with Villa set to make a big profit on the £9.65million they paid Watford for Young four-and-a-half years ago. The England winger has expressed a desire to play Champions League football but Bent believes Villa are not a one-man team.

He has high hopes of England Under-21 player Marc Albrighton as Villa look to fill the gap left by Young, saying: "No-one can ever question Ashley's loyalty. He has stayed here for four or five years and has been brilliant. But one player doesn't make a team."

He added: "If we lose Ash, then it's a big chunk of the team missing - but we've got people who can step in and do well.

"Marc Albrighton came in this last season (as a winger) and was brilliant. Hopefully next season, if he gets more of a run in the team, he will improve even more."

Villa are continuing to step up their search to bring in a new manager to replace Gerard Houllier.

Steve McClaren remains in contention and his representatives have made contact with Villa owner Randy Lerner.

But the likes of Wigan's Roberto Martinez, Bolton boss Owen Coyle and former Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez are also on the radar.

Former Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate, who played under McClaren when a player with Boro, said: "I will say Steve is as good as any of those in the frame for the job.

"Whenever he is linked with a job, there always seems to be a negative reaction (because of his spell with England). Yet, if you look at what he has done in his career you begin to think, 'Why wouldn't he be in the frame?'."

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