O'Neill: Villa's Young deserves Ronaldo comparison

Martin O'Neill believes that Ashley Young shares a number of traits with Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

Young may not posses the same box of tricks as his United counterpart, but his willingness to run at defenders combined with a limitless enthusiasm for the game would suggest that he will only get better in time.

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"Is it fair to say he has the same enthusiasm to take people on as Ronaldo? Yes it is. He is encouraged to take people on," said O'Neill.

"I think that if there were things to be learned about playing brilliant players, it is if you have genuine talent then that's where you want it to be, in parts of the field where it will hurt the opposition.

"I think last week at Old Trafford was a real lesson for us. It would be hard not to look at the DVD and watch that and think, 'I can pick up from these things'.

"Ronaldo can play on the left, right or centre, and the same with Wayne Rooney.

"He can go and play centre-forward, but it would be interesting to find out last Saturday how often he was wide left and wide right.

"Now we are a fairly lengthy way away from United but there's no doubt that Ashley Young has the ability, he has the natural talent, to be able to be a top quality player for a long time.

"He's capable of beating all defenders. It's a matter of getting him on the ball and as close to the goal as possible.

"There aren't many who can do that, but he has the ability.

"You mentally relax when he has the ball. For instance, on one occasion (against Bolton) he took the ball off the back four. He's 35 yards from our goal and I felt so comfortable he had possession because he'll know what to do."

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