Ashley Young admits he was left baffled by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s decision to show Romelu Lukaku the exit door at Manchester United – and reckons he could now be ruing that decision.
The 27-year-old Belgian has emerged as one the world’s top strikers since his move to Inter. He has helped Antonio Conte’s side claimed a first Serie A title in a decade and has scored 27 times this season. That form has seen him linked with a shock return to Chelsea.
Indeed, Lukaku has a total of 61 goals in 92 appearances since swapping Old Trafford for the San Siro.
And Young believes he was astonished United allowed a player of his quality to depart so easily.
“I said it at the time, I couldn’t understand the decision [to sell Lukaku],” Young told Sky Sports.
“Whether it was made quickly or not, Romelu has proved a lot of people wrong.
“He’s worked unbelievably hard. There was talk that he was overweight and couldn’t do this or that. He’s smashed record and made history in Italy, he’s been unbelievable for the club.
“For me he was fantastic even in the Premier League, to go out there and face another challenge, I think it was the right choice for him. He deserves all the plaudits he is getting.”
Young explains his own move to Inter
Young is another player who has thrived under Conte at Inter Milan. However, he too has been linked with a return to the Premier League with his former club Watford mentioned.
The veteran former England man admits it was a tough decision to quit Old Trafford but believes his move has proved a good one.
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“It became a massive decision,” Young admitted. “I was club captain and going into my 10th year, but the club was evolving and changing.
“Ole was there and he was doing really well. It was a decision I had to make in footballing terms. I knew how fit I was and I knew I could play week in and week out.
“A lot is said about age, more so in England than in other countries. If you know how fit you are then there is no problem.
“I sat down with Ole and asked about my chances of playing. He was truthful, I understood what he was saying, it was going to be limited. There was a contract put on the table.
“But I didn’t want to be an afterthought, I did not want to sit there another year and play a bit part. I know I can get up and down like I was 20 years old.
“Being told by one of the biggest teams in the world like Inter Milan that you are going to play every week, I told my representatives ‘let’s get the deal done’.”