Aston Villa favourite agrees new contract which extends his career towards 40

Ashley Young has signed a new deal with Everton
-Credit: (Image: Getty Images)

Former Aston Villa winger and full-back Ashley Young has agreed a new one-year contract with Everton - and in doing so, it'll take his Premier League playing career up to almost the eve of his 40th birthday. Young turns 39 next month and will complete a second campaign at Goodison Park.

Young first joined Villa in 2006 and has gone on to make 247 appearances spanning two spells, the most recent being a two-year stay between 2021 and 2023. He's also spent nine years at Manchester United, won Serie A with Inter Milan and helped England to the World Cup semi finals in 2018, as part of his 39 caps to date.

Young, who came through at Watford and has 463 top flight appearances to his name - only 21 players have appeared more in the Premier League era - helped Villa to reach the Europa Conference League in his final season with the club, after the appointment of Unai Emery in October 2022. He was picked up by Sean Dyche, however, and spent last season still in the top tier with the Toffees.

While many might've expected Young, who penned a one-year deal, to consider hanging up his boots after a distinguished career, the player - who has transformed his role on the pitch in order to help prolong his playing days - has done the opposite and extended his career by at least one more year. Next July, he'll be preparing to turn 40.

READ: Released Aston Villa midfielder 'set to secure transfer' to Premier League rivals

READ: Nicolo Zaniolo fires warning to Aston Villa as transfer for 'complete' player nears end

"I've always said that age is just a number," he told the club's website. "I'm determined – I've still got the hunger, I've still got the belief to go out and put in performances and play at the highest level. I know my body – you start to learn about what you do and don't need. If anything, I feel fitter than maybe I did at 21 years old.

"It means a lot to be playing here for the final year at Goodison. I think it's going to be emotional for a lot of people. We want to make history and be part of a memorable season to look back on. "It was a no-brainer for me to sign again. I spoke to the manager before the end of the season. He asked me what I wanted to do, if I wanted to stay, and straight away I said yes because I loved my time here. Kevin [Thelwell] was the same.

"The size of the club, the staff, the players and, of course, the fans, who have been excellent... I loved my time here last season. We had ups and downs but I can see how big the club is and where the club wants to get to. I want to be a part of that. I’d put it up there with the best dressing rooms I’ve been in, with the best team spirit. There’s a bond there."

What is your favourite memory of Young at Villa? Tell us here

Click here to join our Aston Villa WhatsApp Community to receive the latest news and transfer headlines.