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Premier League's best youngsters are English

Tactics and Analysis 11 hours ago
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By ESPN Staff
Jan 25, 2007

O'Neill tips Young to win full England honours

Martin O'Neill has urged latest Aston Villa signing Ashley Young to forget about his £8 million price tag as he backed the former Watford player to become a future England player.

Young could eventually become Villa's record signing with further add-ons of £1.65 million relating to appearances and making the breakthrough at international level.

But O'Neill wants the 21-year-old to focus purely on playing matters as he prepares to make his debut at Newcastle next Wednesday.

O'Neill said: 'I think Ashley has got fantastic potential and, while we all could do with instant success, I think that over the years he will prove to be a really good player.

'I don't think Ashley should start worrying about what was paid for him. His job is just to go out and perform on the field for Aston Villa - and I think he's capable of doing that.

'I know a lot about his ability and I'll back my judgement on it. He's a really good player and I think he's got a definite chance of moving his career into the international arena.

'I think he shares that ambition. There's a long, long way to go of course, but I think he will prove to be a really decent acquisition.'

O'Neill added: 'Ashley has said himself that he's got loads and loads to learn in the game but he's a quick learner and he wants to have a go and he's got loads of ambition.'

The Villa chief recognises it will take Young time to adjust to his new surroundings after being at Watford for more than a decade.

He said: 'Ashley needs to get to know the players here and to bed in. He's been at Watford since he was 10 and that's a long time.

'While he's capable of coping with things, he's still very young and this is the first major change in his life. Those things do take a wee bit of time and a bit of adjustment is necessary.

'But overall I'm sure he'll cope with all of that and go on to produce some decent football.'