Manchester United midfielder Ashley Young will miss the remainder of the season with a hamstring injury, Manchester Evening News reported in the Europa League semifinal first leg Tuesday.
“[For Young,] if that’s the case, 2-4 weeks RTP,” Dr. Selene Parekh, a Duke University orthopedic surgeon, said. “An MRI is usually required to evaluate the severity.”
Despite boasting one of the most talented rosters in the Premier League, United likely needs to win the Europa League to secure a spot in the Champions League, as it sits four points out of a top-four position with only three matches remaining, and Young’s injury will not help as it comprises United’s depth on the outside.
Although Young will finish the season with no goals and only one assist in league play, the winger uses his veteran experience to make plays for United. Young has been coming off the bench throughout the season with stalwarts such as Paul Pogba, Antonio Valencia, Juan Mata and Henrikh Mkhitaryan swallowing up most of the playing time at midfielder, with Valencia and Mata on the wings.
The news comes on the heels of United losing three contributors—leading scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic, starting defender Luke Shaw and midfielder Marcos Rojo—recently, and coupled with Young’s injury puts a lot of pressure on United’s depth as the season winds down.
Expect little to change for head coach Jose Mourinho as long as Ander Herrera and Daley Blind impress in the middle off the bench, keeping the ball off the wings so that Valencia and Mata can play entire matches. But if Celta Vigo can tire out United’s wingers, Mourinho may be forced to play a less experienced player in a key position that should all but determine United’s chances at securing a Champions League bid.
As for Young, the injury may signal the end of his time at Old Trafford with his contract finishing up at the conclusion of the 2018 season. The 31-year old has been phases out of the lineup this season, and with United scouring the transfer market for talent on the outside, Young may be looking at transfer or loan options when he gets back on the field.