By Daniel Tyler
28 Feb 2011 10:10:00
Ashley Young fires home from the penalty spot for Aston Villa against Blackburn (Getty Images)
Young has flourished in the Midlands since signing from Watford in January 2007, with performances that have reportedly alerted the likes of Liverpool and Manchester United.
The 25-year-old turned in another star performance at the weekend, scoring twice as Villa demolished Blackburn 4-1 to move five points clear of the relegation zone.
Veteran team-mate Pires believes Young is a vital part of the team.
He told reporters: “When you see Ashley play like that, it shows how important it is for Villa to keep him. Ashley is a very good player who plays for the national team.”
The forward is out of contract at the end of next season and with big European teams rumoured to be interested, the England man’s future at Villa Park looks uncertain.
Ex-Arsenal midfielder Pires admits he does not know where Young’s future lies but thinks the former Watford star should stay at Villa Park.
“He is very important here, the fans love him, but you know what football is like,” added the Frenchman.
“I don’t know what is happening with Ashley but for me, he should stay at Villa.”
Albrighton hailed Young’s performance at the weekend and admits Villa have to hold on to their talisman if they are to progress as a club.
“Ashley was unplayable against Blackburn,” said the winger.
“I thought Stewart Downing was just as good but probably just got overshadowed by Ashley because he was so good.
“To have players like that, playing to their full capacity is brilliant. To keep Ashley would be brilliant for Villa. It would show we are going forward as a team.
“I think the manager has said he would like to build a team around him, which would be great for the club because he is such a good player.
“I know Ashley is enjoying his football here so hopefully we can keep him and we can go on and have a good future.”
Gerard Houllier’s men have now lost just once in nine games and face Manchester City in the FA Cup fifth round on Wednesday.
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Robert Pires and Marc Albrighton desperate for Ashley Young to stay at Aston Villa